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Thursday
Sep182014

Rest

It's the flesh moments that get me down sometimes.

It's the days when crankiness seems to follow me, perhaps I have a headache, perhaps the kids have been after each other all day, clingy with me, grumpy, hungry, over tired.

It's the days I see my life with my own eyes, instead of God's. It's the days that I see flesh, brokenness. Pieces that couldn't possibly be whole. 

It's the days when I see the worst in my children. Because honestly, I see more of that then anyone else. Those angels at school and church? They were over tired and grumpy when we got home. Those kids that were well behaved at the play date? Yeah, they had melt downs on the way home. 

That life that seemed so put together? On the inside, it feels like it's falling apart. Sometimes we need a reset. Sometimes it takes true rest for us to come back in with new perspective. 

Holley Gerth said it best: "You are not infinite. You are human. You have limits. Acknowledging that is not selfish; it’s worship." Check out Holley's post "It's Okay for You to Rest". It was something I needed to read this week.

My perfectionist nature wants to fix everything.

My peacemaker heart hates any sort of conflict.

My neat freak tendancies want to clean everything up.

But somedays, I just have to step away. 

I have to read a book.

I have to get out of the house by myself, even if it's only to the grocery store.

I need to breathe.

 

Tuesday was such a day for me. It was a rough one, friends. What started as a pleasant morning, quickly turned into a horrible afternoon. I could tell when my daughter got in the car after school. I could see it in her eyes. Prime tantrum material. I tried my best to curb it. I spoke gently. Suggested we quietly cuddle and read some books before nap time. I truly felt like I tried my best to smoothly get us through the afternoon. But it didn't work. And I felt defeated. Hopeless. Alone. I called my husband in tears, overwhelmed. In that moment he calmed me down. Reminded me that Mommy still had to be Mommy. That I was doing nothing wrong. This was not my fault. I was not failing. 

Getting out of that negative thinking pattern is hard for me sometimes.

Have you ever been there?
It's truly hard for me to see light in those moments.

But we got past it.

She eventually calmed down.

We were able to talk about expressing her feelings, and just what's "ok" and not "ok" in our family. And we talked about space. How sometimes we all just need a little space, a little time, a chance to calm down, a chance to rest.

I say it so readily to her, but do I do this in my own life?

Do I let myself rest?

I always see the next thing on my lists, the next thing to do, to accomplish, the next thing to fix.

But sometimes, I, too, need to rest.

That evening, when the husband got home, he let me disappear for awhile. I went to a store, bought a cup of coffee, and tried clothes on in a dressing room. Pretty simple. Pretty everyday. I didn't even buy anything (besides the coffee). But it was a chance to unwind. And then, my family meant me for dinner. Seriously, it made my heart so happy. It was such a little thing. But it brought us all out of the grumpy state we were in. It changed things up.

We were all able to get a little bit of rest.  

And on the hard days, sometimes that's exacly what we need. 

Rest gave me the chance to get my heart back in order.

Rest reminded me why I love these beautiful ones as much as I do.

Rest reminded me that God can handle this. 

Tuesday
Sep162014

Sharing

It's an ongoing battle. Just how much of my life do I share? Some things, some struggles, are obviously private things, things that don't have any place here.

I suppose it comes down to what I view this place as. If it's just for fun, just for enjoyment, for laughs, than there's no reason to be transparent.

But, if it's for growth, for encouragement, if I view this place as a mission field, then I want to share more, I desire to share more. 

My heart tells me that we need more real places in this world.

That there are many women out there, military and not, who need to hear that they're not alone. That need to hear that they're not the only mother with an headstrong tantrum throwing four-year-old, and a one-year-old that doesn't sleep through the night consistently. That needs to know that they're not the only one that moves every few years, and has to make new friends all over again.

I know this, because I'm one of them. There are days, like today, when I crave fellowship. When I desperately want to hear that I'm not alone. To me, the answer comes in turning around and sharing here. To let out the feelings and frustrations. To remind myself of God's beautiful grace. 

I read a blog post awhile back (I'm sorry, I'm not sure where), that argued against sharing children's lives on the internet. Their argument was that one day these children would be teenagers, and other kids may make fun of them for the social media post about their tantrum at the age of three. They would be embarrassed, it would bring them down, it wouldn't look good. They wouldn't appreciate having such things plastered all over the internet.

So, to my future teenagers, 9 and 12 years down the road respectively, I want you to know this:

 

Your mother was/is transparent. Parenting you has always been one of my greatest joys, passions, and struggles in life. And I'm sure the challenges won't really get any easier, only different with time.

Your mother was/is honest. I don't want you, or anyone, to ever thing that I'm a perfect mother, perfect wife, perfect woman. I'm imperfect in an imperfect world.

Your mother is saved by grace. I pray that, as teenagers, you've come to personal relationships with Jesus Christ. That you, too, have seen how imperfect this world is, and how much we all need Jesus' saving grace in our lives.

Your mother was victorious. I firmly believe that God will take us through these early parenting years. That 9 years from now, when our first child becomes a teenager, that we'll look back at those early years with fondness. That we'll start to see the first-fruits of the hard laboring, hard discipline we set in place in those early years. Sometimes, it's only by looking back that we can see God's hand in it all. That we can see all the areas were He was present, and saw us through. 

These are the things I want children to see someday, when they look back at this blog.

I don't want them to, in anyway, be embarrassed. I really don't think they will be. This is my place. My place of ministry. Of sharing. Of showing God's grace.

And of reminding everyone, including my own kids, of God's presence through it all.

So, my teenagers of the future. Welcome. 

I'm so glad you came to this post of the past. 

I hope you know how much your Mama loves you! 

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?