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Filtering by Category: Isaiah

Tragedy

Meg

I haven't really let myself think about it. I processed the information on the news today. I watched the footage of little elementary students describing what they saw and heard. I saw the death toll counts roll across the screen. I've read friend after friend's comment about it online today.

But I still haven't had the words to say for myself. I still haven't known what to say.

It's horrifying, to send your baby to school, at Christmastime no less, and to not see them come home a the end of the day. 

My hard week with little E seems a lot less horrible now. My frustration with her, annoyances, along with the aches and pains of pregnancy I've been experiencing lately, really don't seem that bad. 

I was even going to post something on social media this morning, expressing my frustrations with my way-to-adventurous daughter.  

But then it really didn't seem to matter.

It seemed so trivial to mention that things my daughter has destroyed today, including my computer. 

It seemed silly to gripe about her week of terrible twos, and how badly I want the hubby to come come from his class tomorrow.

Because the fact of the matter is that I wouldn't change it for anything. I would take my little girl, with her horrible tantrums,  over any other reality.

My friend said it best. It was evil. Evil that showed itself today. Evil that killed innocent children and the teachers trying to protect them. 

I don't think fingers can be pointed besides that.

The only remedy is Jesus. Oh how I pray that the people in the midst of this tragedy know Jesus. Because oh how they're going to need to lean on Him in the coming days.

Life without Him truly is hopeless and meaningless. 

"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28, HCSB).

"He gives strength to the weary and strenthens the powerless" (Isaiah 40:29, HCSB).

"God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble. Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth trembles and the mountains topple into the depths of the seas" (Psalm 46: 1-2, HCSB).

 

Isaiah 40

Meg

I love the words of Isaiah 40. They speak of God's immense power and strength, something I certainly needed to be reminded of the other day.

When I woke up last Tuesday, I was hit with a horrible migrane. This migrane brought me to tears, and left me unable to function. With a busy day in front of me, I honestly didn't know how I would ever get going. I felt so hopeless. And then, my dear husband prayed for me. He prayed for healing and for strength. I asked a few other friends to pray for me as well. While the migrane didn't disappear all together, I truly felt better after awhile, and was able to complete the important appointments little E and I had that morning. That migrane come shortly after I reminded a friend of God's mighty strength. Funny how things like that happen... I shared God's truth with someone else, and then was tested myself.

I truly felt God's strength that day, my friends, when I had none of my own. He was in charge of it all, giving His peace to me to make it through, a moment at a time. It's tough not being good, even more so when you're a mommy. Mommys really don't get a break! My little girl still needed attention, even when I wasn't at my best. That's why Isaiah 40 was so special to me on that day. It's filled with beautiful images of God's power and might.

"See, the Lord God comes with strength, and His power establishes His rule. His reward is with Him, and His gifts accompany Him" (Isaiah 40:10, HCSB).

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand or marked off the heavens with the span of his hand? Who has gathered the dust of the earth in a measure or weighed the mountains in a balance and the hills in the scales?" (Isaiah 40:12, HCSB).

Isn't it wonderful to know that we don't have to face life's trials on our own? That He is there, walking beside us, lifting us up on the hardest days.

What ways have you experienced God's strength in your life? Have you ever found Him there, even on the hardest days? Have you ever let Him carry you?

"He protects His flock like a shepherd;
He gathers the lambs in His arms
and carries them in the fold of His garment.
He gently leads those that are nursing" (Isaiah 40:11, HCSB).

 

Cleaning

Meg

I scrubbed the baseboards, cleaned out the stove, washed the windows, and wiped out the microwave this morning. For five hours (minus a trip to the playground), I washed our house inside and out. But looking around, you wouldn't know it.  It seems like my toddler tries her best to wreck havoc while my back is turned. The rug I just vacuumed yesterday is now covered in cereal, random toys are spread throughout the house, ready to be tripped on. No matter how hard I try, my level of cleanliness is never quite enough. There's always something else to do. Always another area that needs attention.

In a house, this is understandable. Good enough really is good enough. To be honest, I'd rather spend time outside with my toddler, versus having an immaculate house.

But good enough, isn't good enough when it comes to my heart, my soul.

I can try my best.

I can live a good life. Help those around me, make sure I don't steal, or curse, or commit adultery.

But it's not enough.

I can't get to heaven on works enough.

The outer rooms of my heart may be decently clean, but there's a level of silt that never goes away. There are those dark corners, those closets, where sin resides. Those tiniest areas that never, quite, get fully cleaned.

And those areas are enough to keep me from heaven, unless I let Jesus come in.

Jesus' death and resurrection cover those bits that I can never quite reach on my own.

Because of His sacrifice, my heart is completely clean. There's no longer any hidden crevices. He has access to it all, and, because I asked, He's wiped it all away. It is no more.

"As far as the east is from   the west, s o far has He removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:12, HCSB).

"'Come, let us discuss this,' says the LORD. 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they will be like wool'" (Isaiah 1:18, HCSB).

 

 

 

Letting Go of Fear

Meg

"I don't know how you do it," people tell me. "I just wouldn't be able to handle my husband being over there."

I've gotten comments like this quite a bit since my husbands been away.

In answer to them, yes, I'm afraid sometimes. Yes, I worry. But most of all, I have to trust.

I have to trust that God holds the keys to life and death in His hands. He, and He alone, knows the number of our days (See Psalm 139).

And so, I give my fears to Him, time and again, and let Him be in control.

Yes, it's hard having my husband gone. Yes, I miss him with every breath. But it's not as bad as you might think. For the most part, little E and I just live our every day lives. We've had playgroups, birthday parties, trips to the park, coffee dates, craft projects, and visits with family over the holidays. I can honestly say that, for the most part, these deployment months have flown by quickly. We stay busy, which helps. But, most of all, we cast all of our cares at the foot of the Cross, day after day. He and He alone gives us joy and peace each day.

Do you have any fears in your life, today? Anything you need prayer for? Leave them at the foot of the Cross, the peace you'll receive is indescribable.

 

"My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" (Psalm 139:15-16, NIV).

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10, NIV)

Soaring

Meg


“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31, NIV).

The sunshine streams through the window as little E peers out over the wing. She squeals as the plane begins to move, watching the world pass by faster and faster and faster. Soon, the city that we call home is far below as we fly through the air toward Christmas.

Flying is such an amazing thing. Even when I’m cramped up on a plane with a little one, distracting her for hours with toys and snacks, I can’t help but feel the thrill of it all. The thrill of modern technology that helps us get home for Christmas.

The verse above promises that those who hope in the Lord will soar on wings. What a freeing though that is! God gives us wings, so that we can soar through life’s circumstances. We can fly with freedom, knowing that Jesus has paid the price for our sins and made us clean and whole. We can fly victoriously, knowing that, in the end, we get to spend eternity in heaven.

Instead of living this life in defeat, we can soar.

God as my husband

Meg

“For your husband is your Maker — His name is Yahweh of Hosts— and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; He is called the God of all the earth” (Isaiah 54:5, HCSB).

Over the past few weeks, the verse has come across my path more than once. As if God was trying to get my attention.

It didn't make much sense at first. How is God my husband, I asked myself? Why is this seen as something important?

And so, today, I’m finally taking a look at it. I’m finally reading this verse and praying that God would reveal this truth to me.

Yes, I still have an earthly husband, but he will soon be far over seas. We will talk and pray and write letters to each other, but He won’t be here to comfort me and hear me talk about every single little part of my day. He won’t be here to eat dinner with and play board games with. He won’t be here to cuddle up on the couch next to me while we watch a movie. He won’t be here to play with our little girl. He’ll be serving our country, and that will be his number one priority.

Yes, he’ll still be my husband, but his role will change for this next chapter of our lives.

And I honestly don’t think it will be a bad thing.

It will give us time to re-focus our hearts on God.

Time for me to truly understand what having God as my husband is like.

 

Dictionary.com has several definitions for husband, the most common being a married man, especially when considered in relation to his wife. A husband can also be a manager. Or in the archaic sense of the word, a prudent or frugal manager. The Old English hūsbonda actually meant, master of the house.

 

The word used here in Isaiah for “husband” comes from the Hebrew word ba`al which means to marry, be lord (husband) over or to rule over (see blueletterbible.com).

 

These definitions are definitely helping as I continue to think about this meaning.

 

Is God truly the center of my life? Do I depend on Him for everything? Is He my Lord and Master. I hope that the answer is yes. I also have a feeling that these coming months will help me grow and stretch as I learn  to trust in Him as my husband even more. My Godly husband that is.

 

What does the verse above mean to you?

 

 

Pain with a Purpose

Meg





My little girl turns one tomorrow. It’s hard to believe that a year ago today the labor pains were just beginning to start. The natural process that brings babies into this world was beginning in me.

That pain had a wonderful purpose, but oh was it painful! After having my baby I never wanted to experience that again, but you know what? It’s made me stronger. Now, when I look at other obstacles, such as running a 5k, I think “if I can give birth, I can do this!. The pain only made me better. Isn’t life like that? We experience some horribly painful times, but God uses the experience to make us stronger. He is constantly molding and making us into something even more beautiful than before. Yes, it’s often impossible to see this in the midst of things, but when we look back, we see how awfully far we’ve come.

I’m praying that this deployment is like that for my family. I’m praying daily that the lonely months ahead only draw us closer to God, and that some beautiful things come out of this in the end.

What trials have you experienced? Have they drawn you closer to God?

Some verses to ponder:

“Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.  (Isaiah 64:8, NIV).

For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. (Psalm 66:10, NIV)

“This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’” (Zechariah 13:9, NIV).

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1: 3-7, NIV).

Humility

Meg

“My hand made all these things, and so they all came into being. [This is] the LORD's declaration. I will look favorably on this kind of person: one who is humble, submissive in spirit,  and who trembles at My word” (Isaiah 66: 2 HCSB).

We serve the God and Creator of all things. If the book of Isaiah has taught me anything, it's that God's in control. He will judge the world and bring all into submission, in His own time. My job on this earth is to serve Him and tell others about Him. In this last chapter of Isaiah we're left with some characterstics of a Christ-follower. These are the type of things God sees as good and right.

It may be surprising to some that these thigns have nothing to do with money, or power or physicial appearance. Our society today places so much stock in the outward. We live our lives trying to make more money, become more recognized and/or fit into hollywood's stereotype of the ideal woman or man.

God is looking for someone far different though. This is the type of person He will bless. This is the type of person He wants to call His own.

This person is humble, not in an "step all over you" sense, but their heart is in the right place. It's able to be molded and changed into something even better. This heart is submissive, not only in an outward sense, but in their inner spirit. They understand the role of God in their live, and strive to serve Him with every ounce of their being. And finally, this person truly understands the power of the word of God. They tremble at His voice and honor Him with their very lives.

Do I meet all of these characteristics? Not always. There are days when my heart is anything but meek. But I strive to live a life like this. If I have to give my own worldly desires back to my Savior each and every day, I will, just so that I can slowly be made more and more like Him.

God’s Faithfulness

Meg

“I will make known the LORD's faithful love [and] the LORD's praiseworthy acts, because of all the LORD has done for us—even the many good things [He has done] for the house of Israel and has done for them based on His compassions and the abundance of His faithful love. He said, ‘They are indeed My people, children who will not be disloyal,’ and He became their Savior. In all their suffering, He suffered,  and the Angel of His Presence saved them. He redeemed them because of His love and compassion;  He lifted them up and carried them all the days of the past” (Isaiah 63:7-9 HCSB).

As my family prepares for this coming deployment, I keep running across verses speaking about God’s faithfulness. Today’s devotional time was no different. The promises are so great. He promises, time and again, to walk beside his chosen ones. To be with them through the good and the bad times. To carry them when they cannot walk through the valleys alone.

He IS a faithful God. I can think back to so many times when God has shown this faithfulness in my own life. When he provided a job right after college. When he provided friends in an unknown place. When he cancelled my husbands first deployment so that we could enjoy our times as newleyweds. When our daughter came into this world healthy and strong. And the list goes on. In so many ways, big and small, my Savior has always been there, keeping me safe on dark roads, comforting me in nervous moments, and cheering me on during the happiest of moments.

He has provided in the past, and I have no doubt that he will provide again now.

From ancient times no one has heard, no one has listened, no eye has seen any God except You, who acts on behalf of the one who waits for Him” (Isaiah 64:4 HCSB).

The secret to this deployment? Keeping my eyes focused on my Savior and trusting that He will provide.

Where/ When has God been faithful in your own life? What promises can you see for the future as well?

A Well-Watered Garden

Meg

“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail” (Isaiah 58:11 NIV).

What a wonderful promise as I look towards this deployment!

I’m sure, at times, this deployment will feel like a desert, but if I look toward God he will give me not only a stream, but an abundant garden of life that will never fail.

He will be my strength. He will sustain me from day to day.

And that’s why I know that we’ll be ok.

That’s why I know that this hard season ahead will still be filled with joy and blessings.

Because we’re trusting in Him to provide, each and every day.

What does the verse above mean to you today?

Peace in Times of Turmoil

Meg

He talked to me excitedly, telling me about where he would be living, what the food would be like, and where he would shop for essentials. He told me about his job there, the people he’d be working alongside, and the hours he’d be keeping.

And I was excited for him. Excited that he has some things to look forward to. Happy that his job will keep him busy during this deployment. Happy that he now has a clearer picture of where he’ll be and what he’ll be doing.

But at the same time, knowing the details only makes things more real (can you say more real, ah well, I just did!). Knowing the details only solidifies the fact that he will be leaving before too long. Knowing the details forces me to face the future, instead of just ignoring it.

Because I’d love to ignore the future.

I’d love to just live my life without a care in the world.

I’d love to forget about what lies ahead.

But it’s still there, screaming at me, telling me that hard times are ahead.

And that’s painful.

At the same time, there’s something about knowing. Something about facing the facts. Something about placing those fears and frustrations into the arms of Jesus.

With that release of fears comes such peace. Peace that God is in control. Peace that He is big enough to handle this situation. Peace that He will see us through to the other end of this deployment.

There’s nothing better then peace, dear friends. Peace in the midst of turmoil is the only thing that keeps me going some days.

Do you have peace in your life today?
“You will keep in perfect peace the mind [that is] dependent [on You], for it is trusting in You” (Isaiah 26:3, HCSB).

From a Distance?

Meg

"Now this is what the LORD says—
the One who created you, Jacob,
and the One who formed you, Israel—
'Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; you are Mine.

I will be with you
when you pass through the waters,
and [when you pass] through the rivers,
they will not overwhelm you.
You will not be scorched
when you walk through the fire,
and the flame will not burn you'" (Isaiah 43: 1-2, HCSB).

There was a song on the radio when I was growing up called “From a Distance.” Sung by several artists, including Bette Midler, the song describes how different the world looks from up above. “God is watching us, God is watching us, God is watching us from a distance” the artist sings. The song was a huge hit back in the 90s. As a little girl I even found myself singing along to the catchy tune.  As an adult, the lyrics actually bother me a bit. They paint God as being distant and uninterested. The words of Isaiah 43 tell a different story. These words speak of an involved God who cares about our daily struggles. Verse 2 states that He will be with us when we walk through fire. He will be with us on the hardest of days when we are up against the largest of obstacles. He does not just sit back and watch life happen. No, He calls each of us by name. We matter to Him. He cares what happens with us. And He’s ready to help us through the hardest of times. Aren’t you glad that He’s not a God who simply watches us from a distance?

The Todays

Meg

"Therefore don't worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself" (Matthew 6:34, HCSB).



There’s a countdown in my brain that won’t turn off. I push it to the back of my consciousness, deciding not to dwell on it. And then I look around me and utter a prayer of thankfulness for today.

Because today has so many blessings. The weather is finally warming up. My daughter is full of smiles for her momma. And my husband will indeed walk through the door in time for supper tonight. He will help feed our little girl her sweet potatoes and applesauce, make her giggle as he plays with her, and then tuck her into bed. Then he and I will play a board game or cuddle on the couch while we watch a movie.

Today is a blessed day indeed.

For now, I’ll be thankful for all of the todays on our life together, and let God take care of the tomorrows.

For He is an all-knowing God that can truly handle it all. He knows that some hard days are ahead, and He’s ready and willing to carry me through them.

Last night my husband and I were reading in Isaiah 40. I thought I’d share with you what we read:

“Jacob, why do you say,
and Israel, why do you assert:
‘My way is hidden from the LORD,
and my claim is ignored by my God’?

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Yahweh is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the whole earth.
He never grows faint or weary;
there is no limit to His understanding.

He gives strength to the weary
and strengthens the powerless.

Youths may faint and grow weary,
and young men stumble and fall,

but those who trust in the LORD
will renew their strength;
they will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary;
they will walk and not faint”  (Isaiah 40: 27-31, HCSB).

I am so thankful that nothing is hidden from His knowledge and understanding. He knows that there are hard days in the future for my family. And He’s ready to see us through when those day comes. But until then He tells us not to worry (Matthew 6:34) but to focus on today. And what a wonderful day today is!

God Found Me

Meg

Last night God found me. I was driving home after a pleasant evening out with my husband and little girl, and a song started playing on the radio. Before I knew it tears were running down my face. I’m still trying to sort out exactly why I cried. It’s as if a part of me, deep in side, resonated with the words of the song. I believe God was at work deep inside of me, without me fully even realizing why. The song was “Take My Hand and Walk” by The Kry. It’s a beautiful song that talks about life’s disappointments and how we need to trust God with the unknowns in our future.
Perhaps a part of me deep inside is still hurting from “failures” in the past. Or perhaps a part of me is scared about the future.
What I do know is that being a military wife and new mother is tough. The responsibilities placed upon me are impossible to manage on my own. A part of me looks sentimentally on the past, when life was seemingly more carefree, and another part looks worriedly at the future, to the day my husband will deploy and I’ll act out the role of “single mom” while he’s gone.
The future can be a scary thing. But my God is real, and He promises to hold my hand through it all. There’s something so comforting and reassuring about that.

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23: 1-3 NIV).

“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young” (Isaiah 40:11 NIV).

Where is your focus today? Is it on the past, or the future?

He Leads Me Gently: The Job of Motherhood

Meg

It's hard to believe that two years have past since I became a military wife. The days have flown by. And suddenly, for a little while, they're feeling slow once again. As I write this a sweet little baby girl is snuggled up close to me in a sling, fast asleep, listening to my beating hear. She is my newest responsibility. And what a tough one she is! This little individual is someone completely new to me. While she's a beautiful combination of my husband and I, she already has a set personality of her own. And it's my job to take care of her. As much as I may not always enjoy it, it's my job to wake up with her in the middle of the night when she's hungry. It's my job to tend to her needs during the day, while her daddy works hard at his job. It's my job to be her mommy. And oh how unworthy I feel!
I feel as if I have nothing to give to this little one. And then God whispers the newest theme verse of my life in my ear " My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV).
Once again I am reminded that I'm really not on my own when it comes to raising this little girl. I have a wonderful husband, a great family, a support group of friends that are only a phone call away, but more than any of these people, I have a God leading me gently, each and every day.
"He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young" (Isaiah 40:11 NIV).

Do you need God to lead you gently today?

One is the loneliest number

Meg

Moving across the country with the military is rough, but it’s harder still when our husbands have to leave us behind in an unknown city. Far away from friends and family, it can be the loneliest place in the world to be. That cold pillow beside you at night can bring you to tears. The food that takes a week to eat, instead of a night, slowly goes bad in the fridge. The quietness of the house is almost beyond what you can bear, so what do you do?

In Isaiah 41:10 God says these precious words:

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (NIV).

It can be fearful living on your own, especially if you’ve never experienced it before. I know that I can be slightly paranoid in a dark house, double checking windows and doors, and locking myself in my room before I go to sleep. There’s a certain safety that goes away when my husband isn’t home. It’s easy for me to get caught up in the loneliness and fear. Just the same, Isaiah 41 reminds us that God is there, ready and willing to help us through the loneliest times of our lives. He promises to hold us up when we can hardly stand on our own, and to help us make it through another day. He will always be beside us in this life, even when our husbands cannot. He is the only one who will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8). And so, it’s oh so important, dear sisters, that we trust in Him.
Dear Lord, thank you that you are by my side, even on the loneliest of days.

You Are My Strength When I Am Weak

Meg

I was sick, really sick, like you don’t want the details gross kind of sick. At first, my husband was a wonderful helper, getting me ginger ale from the store, retrieving ice packs from the freezer and putting different DVDs in for me to watch. It was wonderful having him there to take care of me. And then, the inevitable happened, he got sick too.
Now I don’t handle sickness on a good day. Just imagine how I felt now that we were both on our backs on the couch, neither of us feeling like we could help the other at all. It wasn’t fun. Just the same, I knew what I needed to do. I needed to be there for my husband. I needed to get him wet rags and cups of ginger ale and the throw blanket from over in the corner . I need to love with a sacrificial kind of love, the kind of love that would take care of my husband even when I myself was feeling pretty sick. This was the first time loving my husband was truly a sacrifice for me. For the most part loving him is pretty enjoyable. This wasn’t, so I definitely need some help from God.
And so I prayed to God to help us through this day. I prayed to God to help me find the strength to care for my husband and to love him with a truly sacrificial love.
And amazingly I did it. I still wasn’t completely well, but God gave me the strength to do the menial tasks that needed to be accomplished. I cleaned up after us, kept our glasses filled with ginger ale, and with the help of God made it through the rest of our day of sickness.
I don’t think that God made us sick on Sunday. But I do think he had something very important to teach me on that day. He wanted me to truly see what sacrificial love feels like, and what it’s like to depend on Him to get from one moment to the next. This isn’t a lesson I’ll forget very soon.

Here are some verses that were on my heart today. I hope they bless you too:
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak” (Isaiah 40:29 NIV)
“Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all” (Mark 9:35 NIV).
“Love is patient, love is kind…. it is not self-seeking…. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13: 4-5,7-8 NIV)

The Joy-Giver

Meg

My first year of married life was a topsy-turvy one. I lost my job right before our wedding, which was a tough slam on my self-esteem. Because of that, I decided to try my lot at being a homemaker and freelance writer. I had mixed feelings about my new calling. I loved having the ability to write whenever and wherever I wanted, but the solitary days were tough. Moving across the country with the military even tougher.
I was lonely, depressed, and feeling as if I wasn’t “doing” enough with my life. I felt as if I was settling for less by staying at home.
I was wrong.

It took the news of this impending deployment to shake me out of my rut. It was then that I really, truly reached out to God and asked Him to help. It was then that I realized that a career, a husband, or the thought of future children could only bring a limited amount of happiness. Only God could give me the joy I truly needed.

I find it amazing that, even with the impending deployment, I have more joy and peace than I’ve had in the past year. I finally see some of my purpose, in encouraging all of you. I look forward to the times when I can sit down in a coffee shop and tap away on my laptop, writing about God and how he is my refuge and strength. Because it’s so entirely true. He sustains me each and every day.

With my husband leaving soon I should be a clingy basket case, but I’m not. I should be worrying about all the empty months before me, but I’m not. I should be staying up every night, thinking about the deployment, but I’m not. Yes, I still have my moments, but like never before, I have peace. The joy he’s given me, even now, is indescribable. I pray that each of you can experience this joy.
I’ve found that I can’t depend on other humans to make me happy in this life. Yes, I am happy in this life I’m building with my new husband. He does make me happy in the way he cares for me. But my true, sustaining happiness comes from God up above. He is the one who will sustain my joy so that I can be the encourager my husband needs me to be. He is the one who will see me through this season of deployment. He truly is my joy, my strength, and my everlasting song.

Today I find myself sporadically singing as I go about my day. It’s been awhile since I’ve done that. And it feels so good.

If you’re in need of some joy from our Father today, take hold of one of the verses below. Make it your own. Say it continuously. And claim the promise our Joy-Giver offers us.
•    “He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy” (Job 8:21).
•    “But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you” (Psalm 5:11).
•    “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11).
•    “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song” (Psalm 28:7).
•    “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever” (Psalm 30:11-12).
•    “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:12).
•    “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul” (Psalm 94:19).
•    “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12).

That Thing Called Fear

Meg

Luke 12:7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Right now I’m sitting on my porch, looking at my beautiful flowers, and enjoying this fine August afternoon. This past month has been a crazy one, but for once, I’m at peace with what lies ahead. Things are starting to come together. My husband’s “deployment check-list” is almost completed. Before I know it I will be saying goodbye. That day will be hard, I know. I’m sure some tears will follow, accompanied by a big bowl of feeling-sorry-for-myself ice cream and a lonely night in a big house. But for today I’m no longer fearful about what lies ahead.

What about you? Are you scared about anything? Or have you given that area of your life back to God. For me, giving fear back to God is something I do on a daily basis. Satan knows how to push buttons in my life. And one of those areas consists of fear.

What do I do then, what I start to become fearful?

I turn to God’s word.

Consider these versus. I hope one of them speaks to you personally today.

• “When I am afraid, I will trust in you” (Psalm 56:3).

• “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation” (Isaiah 12:2).

• “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you" (Deuteronomy 31:6).
•    "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Luke 12:4-7).
•    “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

If you’re fearful, remember that God is with you. He is ready and waiting to comfort you and help you through this rough time. But you have to reach out to him: “For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:8).

Lord, give me some peace please?

Meg

When I heard my husband was going to be deployed, one of the things I struggled with the most was finding peace about the situation. I was worried about my husband’s safety while he was over seas. I was worried about living in a house by myself. I was worried about taking care of the household finances. I was worried about traveling to visit family on my own. I was worried about going to the store, at night without my personal bodyguard (aka husband) by my side. I was anxious about all of these things. Any sense of peace was far from me. In essence, I was a mess. I really needed to ask the Lord for help.
Luke 11:10 says,
“For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” (NIV).
God was ready and waiting to give me peace, when I asked for it.
That peace made such a difference in how I looked at the impending deployment. Yes, I still had times when I worried, but beneath it all, I felt God’s comfort through it all.
Here are a few verses on peace that I hold close to my heart. Hopefully they’ll be a blessing to you as well:
•    “The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace” (Psalm 29:11 NIV).
•    You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3 NIV).
•    “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7 NIV).