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Monday
Sep152014

Counting Down to The Influence Conference 2014!

The Influence Conference is now only 10 days away, not that I'm counting or anything :) 

In preparation, I'm participating in a link-up today, a fun way to introduce myself, and also get to know some of the other sweet ladies I'll be meeting in person next week.

My name is Meg! And welcome to my blog, Deployed Heart.

I call Michigan my home of origin, although my parents moved us several different times growing up. I attended college in Michigan, and then moved south to attended graduate school in Ohio. It was while I was living in Ohio that I meant my future husband, a military man, and my life took an unexpected turn. I was expecting a life of academia, but instead I found myself in a life of packing boxes, adventures, deployments, and making new friends every few years. Six years, four houses, and two kids later, I have to say I'm blessed. It's not an easy life, but it's mine, and it's clearly the path God had planned for me all along. Writing has always been my passion. It was my reason for majoring in English in my college years, and it's my reason that I keep  a blog these days. It's truly an outlet for me, a form of worship, and a way that I can minister to and encourage other woman, right from the comfort of my own home. For the most part these days, my life revolves around my two little ones. They are a constant source of tests, trials and learning how to love in a whole new way. My blog focuses on the tests and trials of military life, parenthood, and trying to figure out who we are as daughters of the King. I truly hope it's a source of encouragement to others, as we work toward becoming new creations. 

The think I'm looking forward to most at The Influence Conference is the fellowship. It will be amazing to be around a bunch of women that "get" me and my love of blogging and Instagram :)

The one thing I won't leave home without is my notebook and favorite pens! I'm picky about my pens, and love having paper nearby to write down thoughts as they come. I'm sure God will teach me a lot through the experience!

I'm so excited to meet you all in person soon! Here goes!

 

Thursday
Sep112014

Good

Our churches Ladies Bible Study started back up last week. It's a place to come, learn, grow, and be encouraged by like minded women in different stages of life. They are truly my prayer warriors and some of my closest confidents. I love it. 

 There were only two of us there last week, providential? Yes, I believe so. The right people were there, it was wonderful fellowshiping with a friend. As we moved through the study guide, one distinct verse popped out at us: 

"We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28, HCSB).

What words of encouragement, for the downtrodden, the heavy hearted, for the times when we really can't see very far ahead. It's wonderful to remember that God has good in store for us. Sometimes we need friends in our lives to remind us of just how great our God is. He didn't throw us on this planet and then forget about us. No, He paved a path, a way for us. He sent His son to come and die for us, so that we could live eternally with Him. He has good in store. Good, in a world of evil, of sadness, of death, of relationships torn apart, He breathes life. He breathes good things. When we look around, we can start to see glimpses of that good. We can start to see the hand of God which is always near. We can start to see the times when He holds on tight, when the sky is dark, but He brings His light.

Yesterday, I was listening to the lies. I was letting life drag me down. Voices were reminding me of what a horrible mother was. How I was failing at prioritizing, at being a good wife. How my appearance doesn't measure up to societies standards. My own brain was definitely giving me a beating. It was a rough day. With a messy house, messy children, messy life, I could feel myself sinking.

But today, today I'm reminded of the beauty of this same life. I'm reminded that God placed me in this body, in this family, in these roles for a reason. I'm reminded of the good He has planned for me.

We need to speak more truth into our lives, friends. We need to be reminded more often that we are, in no way, alone.

God has a good plan. Yes, indeed. 

 

"Doubting God's promises leads to depression, but believing God's promises helps you go on your way singing and rejoicing. 'The Lord is Great! He is beautiful. I thank the Lord and praise Him for His greatness and His power and His provision.' You can have that victory of praise and a confident life because you know that God will perform His word. Of course, God will perform His word whether you worry about it or not, so you might as well be happy. You might as well rejoice and praise the Lord, because He is going to do it anyhow" (Chuck Smith, Faith, 228). 

 

Tuesday
Sep092014

On Patience

This morning, my New Testament in a Year reading plan gave me 1 Corinthians 13. I've always loved this portion of scripture. It describes the great, unending love, that God has for all of us. Truly, these verses are jam-packed with words to live by. 

These verses were read on my wedding day, as a reminder of the kind of love my husband and I should have with each other.

Love is patient (vs. 4). 

My it's hard to be patient sometimes. Patient when my husband comes through the door and two children are vying for his attention. It's often hard for me to get a word in edgewise. Patient when he ponders over the answer to a question, not immediately coming back with a reply. (This is actually an amazing gift of his, one I which I could do more often). Patience when we're all grumpy, tired, in need of rest. Patience when my daughter takes forever to put on her shoes, when she slowly wanders on walks, taking in all the sites. Patience when she asks a million questions, wanting to know why exactly the sky is blue or how the car moves down the road.

Patience when I'm in a season of waiting. When the only answer from God is a whispered "not now, not quite yet." 

Patience to be ok with not knowing the answers to what lies ahead.

Patience to live in the moment, to love my family fully, even with all of their faults.

I've found that sometimes, when I slow down, when I let my daughter walk slower, or truly answer her millions of questions, when I wait for my husband to put the kids to bed, before we talk, when I let God move in His own timing, I learn so much more. I learn how to truly love, how to truly care for these precious people in my life. I learn that it's sometimes best to not look too far ahead, but to be thankful for today, this moment. I realize how many blessings have in today. 

That time, when my husband is preoccupied with the kids at the end of the day, is often the time I need to prepare dinner and clean up afterward. When he waits, before giving an answer, it reminds me of how powerful the words are that I speak into his life as well. When my daughter asks question after question, she reminds me of the beauty of creation and how much fun it is to learn new things. When God just tells me to wait, to be patient in this moment, I stop looking past now, and see the beauty, the great love, in living today. 

What a great blessing patience is in our lives. And how thankful I am for the great patience God shows with imperfect me each and everyday.

 

What does "love is patient" mean to you? 

Thursday
Sep042014

Isaiah 30

"For the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said:
'You will be delivered by returning and resting;
your strength will lie in quiet confidence.
But you are not willing.'

Therefore the Lord is waiting to show you mercy,
and is rising up to show you compassion,
for the Lord is a just God.
All who wait patiently for Him are happy
 (Isaiah 30:15, 18, HCSB).
There are so many good verses here. I love how it says that God will deliver his people when they return and rest. When they are truly willing to be delivered. Isn't that often true of life? We say we want God to take over, to deliver us from a problem, a temptation, a predicament, yet we don't really let go. We hold on with a firm grip, convinced that we can do it better on our own. God is right there waiting, waiting for us to finally, truly, let go, so that He can move. Isaiah reminds us that God is there, He's ready to show us compassion, ready to work through us. He's just waiting on stubborn you and me to move. I honestly don't know why I fight so hard. I'm probably afraid, fearful of what will happen when I let go. But these verses remind us that God has such a beautiful plan in store. The last verse says that those who wait patiently for Him are happy. Happy! I fight so hard against something, worrying, fretting, stressing, when I could just be happy! The irony is clear to me. It's so much better when we just let go and let God!
One of my favorite commentators is, by far, Matthew Henry. His words on Isaiah 30 truly struck me:
Would we be strengthened to do what is required of us and to bear what is laid upon us? It must be in quietness and in confidence; we must keep our spirits calm and sedate by a continual dependence upon God, and his power and goodness; we must retire into ourselves with a holy quietness, suppressing all turbulent and tumultuous passions, and keeping the peace in our own minds. And we must rely upon God with a holy confidence that he can do what he will and will do what is best for his people. And this will be our strength; it will inspire us with such a holy fortitude as will carry us with ease and courage through all the difficulties we may meet with. ("Text Commentaries: Matthew Henry (Blue Letter Bible: Isaiah)." Blue Letter Bible. Sowing Circle. Web. 23 Jul, 2014).
Sometimes, we have to supress those pasions, we have to push them aside and replace them with everything true, everything right. We have to pray the tumuluous things out, and pray peace, pray truth in their place. What a needed reminder. When our eyes are focused on Jesus, that peace will carry us through whatever difficulties we may face. I don't know about you, but I was truly encouraged by this. Encouraged to spend time with Jesus, to dwell quietly in His peace, and to know, with certainitly, that Jesus is always beside me through life's struggles. 

What is there really to fear?
 
Tuesday
Sep022014

A Rainy Day Letter to My Boy

This was written back in July, but I came across it in my archives and wanted to share it, for posterities sake. I want my kids to look back at this blog someday and see the struggles, but also the prayers I have always prayed over them. Hopefully, one day, this will speak to them. This letter is to my boy, but I hope it speaks to your heart today as well. -Meg

 

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014


My Boy,

Tuesday was an overcast sort of July day. The humidity was high, leaving us sticky, sweat drenched, but just the same, we headed to a play date in the park.

As you and your little friend smiled at each other, baby jabbered, wiggled around, we watched the older kids fly down the slides, in and out, around and over, back for a snack, a sip of water, and then off they flew again.

Warm days don't slow little kids down. No, instead, they relish any chance they can take to stretch legs, exercise lungs, live in the moment. 

You, too, had such a grand time, trying to escape from Mama, floating through the air on a baby swing, smiling from ear to ear.

Mama and her friend talked, talked of children's names, books, blogs. And then, my sweet friend expressed her deep desire for her boys to grow up and find a good mate. What should she be teaching them now, when they're young? What can she instill in them, so that they wait, wait for their once in a life time girl. Look for that help-meet, who only directs them closer to Christ?

Sweet boy, you have so much life to live yet. Probably a good 25 years lie between you and your helpmeet. But that doesn't stop me from praying now. Praying for the girl you'll one day meet.

Praying for the choices you'll have to make along the way.

My boy, I truly want to teach you well over the coming years. I want to teach you to respect those around you, to have a heart for the needy, a desire to do good. But more than just be good, I pray that you have a passion for Christ. A passion for life. I pray that you place your faith in God early on. Study scripture, take it to heart. Serve your Creator, no matter what the world may say, so that you're one day ready to be a good husband and a good father.

I think that the best thing we can do now, in these raising up years, is to teach you to respect authority, first your Mama & Papa, then school teachers, principles, employers. Teaching you how to listen and respect, and to know the difference between right and wrong, will serve you well in this life.

It will mean a lot of sweat and tears along the way, which we're already seeing with your sister. It's not always each giving or taking discipline. But I do know it's one of the best things we'll instill in you over the years.

A disciplined heart can do much. An undisciplined heart, well that's a scary thing to think about.

I want you to do much in your life, my boy. Explore far off places, have a beautiful heart for Jesus. It doesn't matter how much money you make someday, or how many people know your name, but live the life you've been giving will all your might.

These sound like words even Mama needed to hear today. Writing is funny like that, isn't it?

My boy, my greatest prayer is that you'll grow up to be like your Papa. You were blessed with a great one, weren't you. You, sister, and I are so fortunate to have him in our lives.

I love you my little man. 

I can't wait to watch life continue to unfold for you.

Love,

Mama