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Blog

Filtering by Tag: strength

And Then They Were Parents…

Meg

Eleven days ago my life changed…for the good. My daughter entered this world and all of a sudden a whole new life was before me. I could no longer look at the world as a semi-newlywed, but instead saw it as a mother for the first time. As I looked at that girl that I had waited so long to meet, the nine months proceeding became a blur. The long days of waiting were quickly forgotten. And I felt so blessed that my Savior had given me this small human to bring up along side of my husband. In that same moment I watched my husband become a father, and that, too, was quite amazing. A man who has hardly even held a baby became a gentle caregiver who would do anything to protect his little girl. I’m crying even now thinking about it. The transition to parenthood is such a beautiful one. And such an emotional one as well. I have cried so many tears in this past week and a half. Many of them have been tears of desperation, as the perfect picture of motherhood hasn’t quite come into play. I’ve questioned decisions that were made at my daughters birth, questioned decisions my husband and I prayerfully made in those first couple of days, and needed my husband’s comforting words more than ever to remind me that God’s hand really is in each step we take in this life. More than anything, I’ve needed to be reminded how good we really have it. We have a beautiful, healthy baby girl who has already wrapped her fingers around our hearts.
As frustrated as I may feel at not yet being able to decipher her cries or always know what she truly needs, I’ve needed to be reminded time and again that God is just as present at 2:00 in the morning as He is right now as I write these words. He’s always present. He understands the confusion and frustrations of new parents, and is ready and willing to give us the confidence to meet these decisions head on.
A friend told me last night that she had prayed over me several weeks ago. She prayed that I would have the Strength, Energy and Confidence to make it through these early weeks of parenthood. Oh how I needed those words of encouragement. And oh how I needed to be reminded to spend time my Savior each day, something I hadn’t seriously done since this sweet little girl arrived. My argument has been that I’ve been too busy, which is true. But just the same I need the strength of God like never before, even if I only have a moment to spend time with Him.

Where do you need strength, energy or confidence today?

Our Strength

Meg

I depend on my husband so much. He’s my best friend, my confidant, my safety and my strength. He takes care of me when I don’t feel well, does the dishes when I’m tired, and heavy things so that I don’t have to. I appreciate him so much.

But what happens when he’s not around? Do I fall to pieces, unable to function? Or do I have something far great to depend on?

When my husband’s away, there’s nothing I’d like better to do then have a good cry, and spend all my time on the couch eating ice cream and watching sappy movies.

And I may let myself do this for a day.

But I believe that God wants something more of me than this.

I believe that separation from my spouse is a time when God tests my love and dependence. Is it solely in a person, or is it most of all in my God?

Because, as much as I depend on my husband, I need to depend on God all the more. My husband can fail me, my God cannot. While my husband can never promise to meet my every need 24/7, my God can. He’s always strong, always stable, and always ready and willing to come to my aide.



“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10 NIV).

It’s the times when I’m lonely that I remember just how much I need the strength of God. I need the refuge and strength I find in Him and Him alone. I would be a complete mess without it.

What’s wonderful is that God understands me on the days I’m tired, alone and afraid, and He’s ready and willing to be my refuge and strength, if only I ask. Since I was a little girl, my favorite passage of scripture has been Psalm 46. It starts by reminding us that God is our true source of strength in times of trouble, and ends with a reminder to be still in His presence and recognize Him as the one true God, the only one that can fulfill our need for shelter and strength.

I hope these verses serve as a form of encouragement to you today, and remind you that you’re never really alone.

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.


Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,


though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
Selah


There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.


God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.


Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.


The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Selah


Come and see the works of the LORD,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.


He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
he burns the shields  with fire.


"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."


The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Selah


(Psalm 46 NIV)

It can be tough when a spouse is far away, but God is ready and willing to be your true source of strength and comfort. While your spouse will travel here and there, your Heavenly Father will never have to leave.

“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 NIV).

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)

When your heart deploys

Meg

When your husband deploys, it feels as if part of your heart deploys along with him. After I heard the news that my husband would be leaving me and going overseas, I was in shock. I couldn’t concentrate on any one thing. I would go from one thing to the next, never really finishing the project in hand. I listened to music, cried, and thought in detail about how lonely this next chapter of married life would be without my husband by my side. I would be living in a town where I hardly knew anyone, with only my cat to keep me company at night. The time we had left before he left would be so scarce. I dwelt on the holidays and memories he would miss while he was away. I felt hurt, alone, and despondent.
After a few days of sadness, I had a decision to make. Would I wallow in grief and loneliness, or would I live my life to the fullest?
I began to realize that my life really wasn’t over. My husband still loved me, and needed me to be his encourager and manager of the household while he was away.
I still had a great purpose.
Looking toward the deployment, I honestly still didn’t know what it would be like, but just the same, I had hope. Hope that God would be my strength and help me through it. Hope that he would guard me each night and keep me safe as I slept all alone. Hope that my marriage would grow from this separation and come out stronger on the other end.
I knew that there was no way I would make it through this next lonely chapter on my own. I needed my Lord and Savior to be my rock. As one of my favorite Psalms begins, “God is our refuge and strength, and ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). Isn’t that a wonderful promise? That he will be our strength when we have none on our own. That was certainly the place I was at, as I looked toward a lonely deployment.
And that is why I want to encourage you through your owns struggles, whether they be a deployment, a family hardship, or just the stresses of life in general. Cling to God, my friends, and he will see you through the tough days ahead. As Psalm 62:6 says,  “He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”