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Filtering by Category: Matthew

A few ramblings

Meg

Hello world,

Please excuse my ramblings this evening. It's been awhile since I've written, so I'm finding the need to "dump" out all my thoughts on you.

 These last few weeks have been filled with baby appointments, house hunting, toddler wrangling, coffee/playdates, and continue to get our house in order for our up-and-coming move. 

Two weeks ago we found out that Baby #2 is a BOY! I can't tell you how excited we are. It's been bittersweet sorting through and getting rid of all our baby girl clothes, but I've  already found some good homes for them to go to, so that makes things a bit easier. Just the same, I'm so excited to meet my little man in about 3 months. It really will be a treat to get to know him and his individual personality. He already has a name, one my husband and I have been talking about for ages now. This name has truly been on our hearts, so, in a sense, it feels right that this little one is a boy. I feels meant to be. This little guy is far more active than I remember his big sister being. He kicks and squirms his way through the day, reminding me of his presence. He's even woken me up with his kicks a couple of times. Feeling his kicks are one of my favorite parts of pregnancy. There are other things that I really don't enjoy, but the kicks, and watching my belly grow week by week, I love :) 

Traveling and house hunting with a toddler was, interesting, to say the least. Trips are so unpredictable. there really isnt' a set list of "tips" that I could give you, or anyone. Each time we fly is different, because her age is slightly different. I will say that having her favorite blanket, a special coloring book, and tons of snacks, do help. Still, the time of day, and her overall state of being, make all the difference. She and the hubby caught a cold on our way to our soon-to-be home so that made for a crankier week for everyone as well. 

We didn't come out of the week with a place to live, but we definitely have a few possibilities. It was rather discouraging to come home without signing a lease, but, after much prayer we just didn't feel right about the way things were going with one of the rental properties. God definitely gave us some wisdom in the middle of the situation. Now I'm praying that the right place comes along. I'm sure, even long distance, we can work out the details and have a place to lay our heads next month. 

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:33-34, HCSB).

Tonight, I'm thankful for a God who knows our needs, big and small. He knows my anxieties about this move, about tying up all the loose pieces, and finding a piece to live. He knows my thoughts, big and small, and cares about them all. I'm also thankful for my husband, have I mentioned how amazing he is? I was feeling pretty out of it today with an awful headache, so he came home from work a bit early, distracted our little girl, and even took her out of the house for a bit so that I could have some peace and quiet, complete with an Epsom salt bath. He even brought back dinner for me. Truly thankful for him tonight!

And so, I sign off. My body is exhausted from today, but I'm excited to greet tomorrow. With only a few weeks left in this city, I have plenty of memories to make with dear ones. Life really does fly by, doesn't it?

Please pray for me that all of the moving details work out. What can I pray for you tonight?

A Mother's Worries

Meg

Hello all,


It’s felt good to just be home this week. To get past the craziness of the holidays. To have time to cuddle with my little girl and start to love on our sadly-neglected house. I was sick over Christmas and New Years, which definitely made travelling a lot more interesting. Flying with already plugged ears is not something I would recommend. While I normally shy away from medications (especially when pregnant), I finally had to admit to myself I was truly sick, and take the prescribed meds in order to feel better. It was amazing how quickly the medication began to help. God certainly has given us a gift in modern medicine!
In a little over a week I get to experience one more modern marvel, an ultrasound! It will be wonderful seeing all the intricate parts of my baby. The first time around, I was amazed by the heart and brain especially, I’m sure I’ll love seeing it all once again.
But can I be honest with you?
 I’ve been dealing with a lot of anxiety as well. Anxiety over the safety of my baby while I was taking the antibiotics. Anxiety over the fact that I don’t feel consistent fetal movement as of yet. Anxiety over this ultrasound coming up, if anything out of the ordinary will be revealed.
Satan preys upon my weaknesses. He always has. He’s known that worrying is one of my greatest vices. It’s been that way since I was a little girl.
It’s funny, I think my last post may have talked about worrying as well.
But worrying about your child, now that’s a worry that never ends. There will always been things to worry about when it comes to this little child. Sure they’ll one day grow up into independent adults, but then the types of worry just change. The worries go from thriving in the womb, to childhood sicknesses, safety with babysitters, if I’ve handled things right as a parent, to independence, letting them take the car, if they’ll make the right decisions with friends, if they’re truly doing alright living on their own, if they’re happy, content, fulfilled.
In fact, even at the age of (almost) thirty, I’m sure my momma still worries about me.

But my Jesus knows this. He understands this vice. And while the world may tell me that it’s a natural thing to worry about your children, I know otherwise. I combat the lies with scripture. I take the things that could paralyze, and I put them at the foot of the cross, surrounded by prayer. Each day, each moment of worry is released, time and again.

I know it’s often quoted, but can I turn anywhere else than a section entitled “The Cure of Anxiety?” I think not. This portion of scripture is written upon my heart. Do you need to pray it over your life today as well?

“This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying? And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these! If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t He do much more for you—you of little faith? So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6: 25-34, HCSB).

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).

 

Morning Birds

Meg

 

 “This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they?" (Matthew 6:25-26, HCSB).

 

We came across some birds on our morning walk. For some reason, they weren't scared by our presence, but continued on with their working chatter, flying back and forth, and showing off their beautiful yellow bellies. Little E and I stood there for several minutes, quietly watching them at work. Perhaps they were making a nest, or simply perching there, enjoying the early morning sun. Because we live in a part of the world without many trees, birds are an exciting rarity. There is little food out here on this open, relatively barren land. (Far different from my child-hood home out East). No, here, any trees were intentionally planted. Those trees that are in place have to be watered, day-in and day-out, to fight against the dry climate. And yet, these birds don't seem worried about the dry land in which they perch. No, for today, they've found a safe haven in a tree. They're perfectly happy, singing away in the sunshine.

I, too, have a home in which to live. It's warm, it's cozy, and it's filled with so many "things" that I don't even necessarily "need." I am surely blessed, day in an day out, far more than those little birds I met on our walk this morning.

Yes, there will always be things to worry about, but there isn't anything out of my God's control.

And so, I'm off to sit on my back porch and enjoy some sun. Maybe I'll come across another bird or two. Aren't they amazing reminders of God's protection and love for each of us?

Future Fear

Meg


"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind" (James 1:5-6, NIV).

 

While my husband was gone, fear centered around his protection. It centered around the war zone he was fight in, and also on our safety back here at home. It sometimes included a lonely, dark house, that I would have to enter after a long day, without anyone's protection at hand.

Now, my fears are about the future.

I look at this coming year with so many fears. Fears about our next move. Fears about future children. It may sound silly, but I obsess about these things. They plague my thoughts. I was cleaning our bathrooms this morning, when my brain started worrying about if I'd be able to get this house clean enough for house inspections. Seriously? We don't even know when we're moving yet. I think worrying about things like that is a little far fetched. Just the same, the notion entered my head.

Satan seems to find leap holes in my reasoning and latch on. He knows that worrying is a weakness of mine, so he finds something and continually prods, until I'm obsessing about it constantly.

The future is a scarey thing. I'd like nothing more than to stay in the present and never have to plan ahead.

But time moves on, and my Savior asks me if I truly trust Him.

Do I trust Him to provide?

Do I trust Him with future children?

Do I trust Him with future moves, future deployments, with this military life as a whole?

Do I trust in His purpose and plan, because He can see my life in a grand sweep of time, He knows all that has and all that will happen. Do I truly trust Him to be in control of it all?

If I truly do, then why do I worry?

There's really no reason too.

He is more than able to handle it all.

 

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 5:25-34, NIV).

Rest- A Letter to Deployed Mothers

Meg

 Dear Deployed Mother,

Life can be hectic with your husband gone. Bills have to be paid, appointments have to be kept, children have to be car-pooled around, day in and day out. Sometimes, it seems, you never have a moment for yourself. If I could say one thing to you, it would be this: rest. Don’t feel guilty about dropping the kids off at the neighbor's house, just so you can eat a meal in peace. Take that bubble bath. Watch that late night movie. Paint your toes. Enjoy the peaceful moments when the house is dark and Jesus is the only company by your side.  Our tendency is to focus on everything we don’t have, on our husbands who are far away, on all of the extra work we have on our plates, instead of seeing the quiet evenings for what they are: moments of rest. These moments are truly precious. The work God is doing in you, day in and day out is precious. You are facing a hard task, but you are never alone. Rest in the one who made you.


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

"LORD, You are my portion and my cup of blessing; You hold my future.... I keep the LORD in mind always. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my spirit rejoices; my body also rests securely. (Psalm 16: 5,8-9, HCSB)

 Rest, dear friends, rest.

 

Love,


Meg

 

This post was written as part of the "My Mother Letter" Link up Party. Hop over to see all of the other letters!

Love is... Patient

Meg

It's interesting that out of all the attributes Paul could of chosen in 1 Corinthians 13, the first one listed is patience. Perhaps it's because of the ongoing struggle we all have with this word. Patience is hard to come by. We live our lives always waiting for the next thing to occur. High school graduation, moving out of the house, wedding days, the birth of children, the end of  deployments. In an instant gratification kind of world, it's hard to wait for some things to happen in their own time. 

But that's exactly what we must do, wait. I couldn't force my daughter to be born several weeks earlier, she came when she was good and ready. And I can't make this deployment any shorter, the days are still there, looming in front of me on the seemingly never-ending-calendar. 

But what I can do is learn about love. Not physical or self-seeking love, but an everlasting kind of love. The kind of love that is patient at it's core. The kind of love that waits. 

God exhibits this love with each of us on a daily basis. He patiently watches us stumble and fall, loving us through this process called life. His patience doesn't wear thin. He's always there, picking us up and giving us another chance.

 

When we're anxious about something, it can be horribly hard to be patient. But that's often exactly what we're called to do. We can't live our lives sitting around, waiting for tomorrow to come. Instead, we're called to live today to it's fullest, and let Jesus take care of the tomorrows (see Matthew 6:34).

 

Do you see more anxiety or patience in your own life? Has anyone exhibited true love to you through their patience? 

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!

Worry Worry Worry

Meg

What is it about being pregnant that makes me worry about anything and everything?

I worry about the kinds of foods I should or shouldn’t be eating

I worry, wondering if I’m drinking enough fluids

I worry about taking different headache and sinus medicines

I worry because I haven’t yet felt my little one move inside of me

I worry about each and every doctor appointment

I worry about the impending ultrasound, and what it will or won’t show us

I worry that this little one inside of me will never come to know Christ as his/her Savior.

There’s so many things to worry about, and I know it’s only just beginning. I know over the years I’ll worry about parenting styles, disciplinary issues, and the safety of my child as he or she goes out into the world. One day this child of mine will get behind the wheel for the first time, go off to college, chose a career, fall in love, and want to start a family of their own. Even then I’m sure I’ll still worry, hoping that this grown child of mine is happy and loved.

As a human I worry. I think it’s a part of who I am. But as a Christian I have a choice. Do I hold onto those worries, or do I give them to the Lord? I think that’s the defining point each and every day. When the “worry of the day” crops up, I have to decide if I’m going to hold onto it and let it consume me, or if I’m going to claim a portion of scripture, such as Matthew 6:25-34, and give that worry, and every worry over to the Lord.

Sometimes this means turning the same exact worry over to the Lord each and every day. Just the same, I believe that worry serves as a test in my life. The Lord wants to see if I’ll truly trust Him today and everyday.

I forget at times what a relief it is to give each worry over to the Lord. I forget the peace that fills me when I lay all my worries at the foot of the cross. It’s unexplainable. There’s nothing like it. It’s a peace that passes all understanding. It’s a peace that reminds me that the Lord God is more than able to take care of my worries. He is more than able, I just have to trust Him.

What are you worrying about today? Is it a loved one serving far away? Is it a child? A friend? Or a personal situation? Whatever that worry may be, I encourage you to entrust the Lord with it today. He’s more than able to handle your worry.

Lord, thank you that you take me just as I am, worries and all. Please take my worries about _________ today and replace those worries with your peace. Thank you for reminding me that you are more than able to handle these worries.

A Sick Day

Meg

There was a time when I looked forward to being sick. I loved the days when I got to stay home from school, drink Sprite, eat chicken soup and watch Saved By the Bell and Full House all day. Being sick meant I got extra attention, my mom would hover over me, and my little kid brother would, for once, stopping bothering me. I loved it. Not so much anymore.

Now that I’m married, living across country from my mom, being sick is largely a lonely business. My husband is sweet and helpful, but he has responsibilities and a job to fulfill in the military, a job that doesn’t easily stop for a sick wife. On top of being sick, I’m currently pregnant with our first child, which brings on a new world of  worries whenever I start to come down with something. Because I know that when my body is rejecting nutrients, my sweet little one isn’t getting the nutrients he or she needs to thieve. And so I worry, and cry, and hate every moment of being sick while my husband is at work. I worry that something is happing to the baby. I cry because I’m an emotional woman whose hormones are out of whack. I hate every moment of it, because who likes driving yourself into town for Gatorade when you can hardly sit behind the wheel?

But most of all, I walk around, continually giving myself and the life of my little baby to the Lord. Today I’ve been reminded time and again that, even when my husband is at work, I’m really never alone. God is still God, and is still watching over me every second of the day. He understands all of the emotions I’m feeling, but most of all, he wants me to trust in him. I’m also reminded that each breathe this little one breathes inside of me has never belonged to me, but to Him. He has already ordained the number of days in this little one’s life (Psalm 139:16), so who am I to worry? (Matthew 6:27). I’ve only been pregnant for 4 ½ months, but already this little life has brought so much joy and excitement. There’s nothing more beautiful than a growing baby! I can’t help but be amazed at the picture of my growing belly, it’s that amazing.

No, I still don’t feel all too great at the moment. But I’m thankful, and trusting, and looking forward to the end of the day when my husband will come walking through the door. Until then, and even afterwards, I’ll give every sick moment to the Lord.

Flexibility: susceptible of modification or adaptation

Meg

I am a planner. I love my lists, love having my life in order, and love knowing exactly when my husband will come home each night. If I could, I would have dinner hot and ready, waiting on the table when he walks in the door.
I tried that once. The meal was cold by the time my husband got home. I’m sure he wishes he could be home at the exact same time every night, but life in the military can be very unpredictable at times.
A month ago my husband answered his phone, and found out that he had been nominated to fill an empty spot overseas. He was deploying out of the blue, just like that. A few weeks later he went into work, only to find that his position over seas had been deleted. They no longer needed him. Just like that, he was no longer going. Who knows what he’ll find out today or tomorrow.
I’m starting to find that it’s not my place to be upset by these sudden changes. Yes, they may not line up with what I have planned, but I have to adapt just the same.
As I was thinking about adapting, I started to wonder what the Bible has to say on this subject.
Here are a few verses I found interesting:
“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that” (James 4:13-15 NIV).
“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1 NIV).
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34 NIV).
I could go crazy thinking about what would happen if my husband deployed today, but instead I’ll just look forward to the nice evening we’ll have tonight, eating dinner, playing games, and just enjoying each other’s company. Tomorrow will come soon enough.
Only God knows what will happen tomorrow. We really have little control over what will transpire. So we shouldn’t spend each day worrying and stewing over what might happen, instead we should just praise God for the moments we have today.
In an unpredictable world, there’s only so much we can plan. Things happen everyday that our out of our control. It’s so wonderful to know that in this inconsistent world, we have a constant God:
“In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end” (Psalm 102:25-27 NIV).
God remains solid when the rest of the world tilts around us. So for today, I’ll hold onto the truth that he will be there, every day to help me through life’s twists and turns.

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).