A devotional to help military families stay connected during deployments

Excellent or Praiseworthy is posted on Monday and Thursday nights.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. — Genesis 1:1

The wives in the ladies’ Bible study group at the base chapel were nervous. Their husbands were returning home from deployment—and they were all hesitant, but honest, to admit that they were anxious about the transition of reintegration. We read Psalm 145 (the great psalm of God’s majesty) together . . . then prayed . . . then discussed. Our discussion included a sharing of times past when God’s faithfulness was evident in their lives. Their hearts were stilled as they remembered what they already knew—that God the Creator was sovereign.

In the burning sands of Afghanistan, a soldier opened his care package from home. In it was another calendar—this time with pictures of beautiful flowers up against a background of majestic snow-capped mountains. His wife told me that it didn’t matter what the year was—the calendars she sent were ones she found with beautiful pictures of nature. . . and sometimes with Scripture in the margins. God’s created beauty ministered to her husband’s weary heart in a way he couldn’t describe—but was very real. God’s presence revealed in creation comforted his war-torn soul.

Veterans of many deployments, a military couple had to make a decision soon regarding their future. He had plans and concerns—she had plans and concerns. They went round and round with their discussions, trying to decide whether to “stay in” or “get out”, seemingly getting nowhere. It wasn’t until they went to church and joined their hearts in praise and worship to God the Father that they agreed to pray together, seeking God’s guidance. Their prayers were simple—using the Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication model (ACTS). But their prayers were made together, holding hands. Demonstrating the unity given by God in the Trinity, even before creation, they praised and they pleaded . . . and their Father answered.

It all begins with creation . . . which begins with the Creator. If you find yourself feeling empty today—with doubts, frustrations, concerns bearing down on you, consider reading these verses of adoration, beauty, and correction to set your heart on the one who loves you enough to give this beautiful world—and to send His Son, Jesus Christ, into it . . . just for you.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.” John 1:1-4

“It is I who made the earth and created man upon it. I stretched out the heavens with My hands and I ordained all their host.” Isaiah 45:12

“Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” Psalm 90:2

“The One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these.” Isaiah 45:7

“When He established the heavens, I was there, when He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep, when He made firm the skies above, when the springs of the deep became fixed, when He set for the sea its boundary so that the water would not transgress His command, when He marked out the foundations of the earth; Then I was beside Him, as a master workman; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him, rejoicing in the world, His earth, and having my delight in the sons of men.” Proverbs 8:27-31

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” Revelation 4:11

“The LORD is good to all; and His mercies are over all His works. All Your works shall give thanks to You, O LORD, and Your godly ones shall bless You. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom and talk of Your power, to make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts and the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom.” Psalm 145:9-12

“Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God and a great King above all gods, in whose hand are the depths of the earth, the peaks of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for it was He who made it, and His hands formed the dry land.” Psalm 95:2-5

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, whatever passes through the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!” Psalm 8:3-8

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:15-17

“Lift your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, not one of them is missing.” Isaiah 40:26

“Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; the LORD of hosts is His name . . .” Jeremiah 31:35

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

“For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind and declares to man what are His thoughts, He who makes dawn into darkness and treads on the high places of the earth, the LORD God of hosts is His name.” Amos 4:13

“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1,2

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.” Job 38:4

“Thus says the LORD: ‘Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool . . . For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being,’ declares the LORD.” Isaiah 66:1,2

“Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He; I am the first, I am also the last. Surely my hand founded the earth, and My right hand spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand together.” Isaiah 48:12,13

“Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it.” Deuteronomy 10:14

“Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” Psalm 33:8,9

“Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations; You established the earth, and it stands.” Psalm 119:89,90

Questions to Share:

1. Which of the verses above encourage you in a particular situation you are currently facing?

2. Share with your spouse a time when a scene of beauty—whether observed in person or photo—encouraged your heart. It can be as grand as the expanse of the Grand Canyon, or as simple as the smile of a child presenting a bouquet of dandelions.

Excellent or Praiseworthy is posted on Monday and Thursday nights.

Editor’s Note: Sometimes it helps to look back and see how things got started—just to be reminded. We are privileged to post a story that does just that. This testimony was given at an Upward football game six years ago by an Air Force wife whose husband was about to deploy for the eighth time . . . . and has not forgotten how it all began.

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. — Proverbs 18:10

I have the great privilege of coaching the Upward cheerleading squad and am married to the fearless Upward referee commissioner. We have four lovely children, three of whom are participating in Upward activities this morning—but it’s likely that none of this would have happened if events had gone a bit differently exactly nine years ago today. It was on that fateful morning that I found myself among the hundreds of government workers being hastily evacuated from the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D. C. Word was circulating that YES, another plane was headed right for us. I was twenty-seven years old and had been married for only six weeks.

At that time, I worked in the daily press gallery for the United States House of Representatives. Basically, our office was the workspace for the daily newspaper reporters assigned to Capitol Hill. On that particular September 11th, I was in the House Chamber keeping a log of House business when one of my co-workers hurried in to share the news of the first plane hitting one of the towers of the World Trade Center. We instantly assumed it was a horrible accident. The office itself was full of reporters and staffers alike glued to one of the many TVs.

Then the second plane hit and we knew none of what was happening was an accident. All of our hearts ached for the people on the planes and the people in the unbelievably tall Towers. How many people work there and how do they get out?

But in less than thirty minutes everything REALLY changed for us in Washington, D.C. Many of us were watching news coverage from within the Pentagon when the camera shook and the news anchor reacted suddenly. There were gasps and yelling all around me. Our office windows faced the Pentagon and we could see a HUGE plume of the blackest smoke you’ve ever seen.

It wasn’t just New York. Washington, D.C. was now under attack. And if you’ve ever been there, you know, the U.S. Capitol Building with its dome is gigantic, on top of a hill and at the end of a huge open grassy park, The National Mall, or as my pilot husband called it . . . .a runway. We all knew if another plane was coming, the U.S. Capitol Building was the likely target.

I mentioned that we were ‘hastily evacuated.’ We really weren’t evacuated at all. Within moments of the Pentagon being hit, the wide-eyed Capitol Police officers were telling everyone simple to GET OUT NOW. These were the days when the only emergency plan in place was for the people who were in line for the Presidency. Everyone else was on his or her own, and so we scattered to anywhere we could walk, so long as it was OFF Capitol Hill.

I remember walking quickly, very quickly, down those historic marble steps out front as I took a moment to look behind me at that beautiful white dome against the bluest of September skies. I prayed to God that it wouldn’t be the last time I saw it intact. I had first seen the Capitol Building when I was twelve years old on a family vacation—and fell in love instantly. A decade later when I got the job there, I vowed never to take for granted all the history that surrounded me every single day. I’ll be honest, on that September 11th, I was much more concerned for the U.S. Capitol Building’s well-being and our country’s well-being than my own.

How could that be, you may ask? I was young and newly married, my future all ahead of me. Well, I obviously didn’t WANT to lose life or limb that day but I had a peace about whatever was going to happen to me. My God, my Jesus, would take care of me one way or the other. After a long search, I finally became a born-again child of God only months before the events of September 11th. I knew my name was written in God’s book of life and I had a savior, and if God took me home that day, it was going to be all right.

And that’s one of the points I want to get across. If you’re standing here thinking ‘I’m young still. I’ll do it my way for awhile. I’ve got plenty of time to get right with God.’ I plead with you to think again. Those people on the planes didn’t think it was their last day. Those people in the World Trade Center and Pentagon didn’t think it was their last day either.

Sometimes the unthinkable happens. We just don’t know. Absolutely none of us is perfect, so we are separated from God until we recognize our NEED for a Savior, Jesus Christ and ACCEPT His gift of eternal life. It’s just that simple, and yet I know it can be difficult.

As we know now, the Capitol Building was not hit, but was it supposed to be, according to the terrorists’ plans?  Hijacked Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania as it was heading to Washington, D.C. Those brave passengers took it upon themselves to ‘change the plan’ after receiving accounts of the World Trade Center from distraught relatives on the ground. Flight 93 was the ONLY one of the four hijacked flights to be delayed that morning. If Flight 93 had not been delayed, it most likely would have been the first plane to reach its target . . . . whatever that was.

You see, God has a plan. Though it can be nearly impossible to see or understand during terrible events, God always has a plan. My four children, all born since 9/11, are all part of His plan . . . . just as each and every one of YOU are part of God’s plan. Seek His will. Pray. Read His Word and discover your role in His plan. Resist it and your path may be made more difficult, embrace it and you surely will be blessed.

Before I was saved I felt like I was grasping in all directions. Since becoming a Christian, my path has been laid before me, and yet I’ve faced some of the biggest challenges of my life along that path. Knowing it was God’s plan (and not my own), gave me the strength to get through the challenges and still does today. It was always easy to doubt myself, but not God. HE’S my rock and He can be yours, too.

I’m thankful that it was part of God’s plan for me to be able to speak to you all today. Let us pray together:  ‘Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the opportunity to share with everyone here today. May those still unsure about Your plan for them, seek You with all diligence. And please give peace to those still grieving for loved ones lost in the attacks of September 11, 2001. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.’”

Questions to Share:

1. Where were you on September 11, 2001? Share with each other your memories of that day.

2. If you had been one of those who faced possible death that day, would you have had the same peace that this military spouse had? If not, go to http://4spirituallaws.com

Excellent or Praiseworthy is posted on Monday and Thursday nights.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” —2 Timothy 3:16

It all started at a church near Ft. Hood, Texas. We were meeting with the church-sponsored “Heroes” group—Army families who are either experiencing deployment, or redeployment and reintegration. It was a great night, with lots of good food and discussion. I asked the question, “During your last deployment, what would have helped?” A young wife named Tammy looked right at me and said, “An online devotional—that would have helped. . . .one designed for military.” At that moment, when her eyes met mine, Excellent or Praiseworthy was born.

And so it launched on September 11, 2007. We did not plan for it to begin on 9/11—that’s just when all of the necessary pieces came together. Seems symbolic and appropriate, however, considering the impact that 9/11 has had on all of our lives in this great nation, especially our military families. On this September 11th our nation remembers the tremendous sacrifice made by those who died in the face of the enemy named terrorism. We shall never forget such heroism and courage displayed that day and the days since as you defend and protect our country. And with these devotions we seek to serve you as you so faithfully serve us.

The name for this website came from Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Those in the military who are assigned the duty of defending our nation and liberating foreign nations have sacrificed much. We believe our calling in this online devotional is to offer a chance for couples to think on things which are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable in order to keep them spiritually connected and growing during their time of separation.

In the past nine years, we have posted 936 devotions—every Monday night and Thursday night.  The hope is that in the interval time between Tuesday and Friday couples will have the opportunity to read and discuss the “questions to share” over email or telephone. And many, many have. We know the site has been accessed approximately 250,000 times—from literally all over the world (192 countries–including Vanuatu?). And we know those readers are merely a subset of the total readership. Many “hits” are not recorded in our analytical data because the location of the internet servers is invisible to us for security reasons.

This large readership has been heartwarming and encouraging. Our goal has been to provide a reading which will give a couple something to read and share, prompting them to communicate at the “heart level” through Scripture, a story, and the “Questions to Share”. If a commitment to marriage is a commitment to communication, then couples who can communicate what they think and feel, without becoming defensive or feeling threatened by rejection, are couples who can weather a tough situation together. Whether by phone, letter, email, webcam, or texting, a couple needs to be creative and intentional—and willing to share at the heart level—in order to finish the deployment strong.

One reader commented: “One of the challenges my husband and I faced this past year was remaining spiritually connected when separated by miles. Once I came across the ‘Excellent or Praiseworthy’ card the military ministry leader at church had given me and got on the website, we wanted to use the ‘EorP’ devotional as a springboard to spiritual conversations, with both of us reading it prior to our phone calls. My husband and I jumped on that bandwagon late in his deployment, but I would love to equip the families who are facing pending deployments with that tool. It is a very effective ‘spiritual glue’ for separated couples.”

We have had 38 writers join this collaborative effort—providing spiritual lessons from their unique deployment stories. We are so grateful for these writers, and continue to look for more. In 2008 we added “categories.” You will notice that the devotions are in one (or more) of five categories: Prayer, Marriage and Family, Lessons from History, Spiritual Training, and National Guard/Reserves. Obviously there is overlap in these, so we encourage you to explore the entire website for helpful devotional material categorized by topic.  Through the nine years we have also added photos, and even videos.  We continue to look for ways to serve you better.

A popular feature has been “The Deployment Dare” found on the sidebar.  All forty days from the popular book The Love Dare have been re-considered to meet the challenges of “doing the Love Dare” while geographically separated by deployment. If you haven’t already, check it out!

We have observed, met and heard stories about couples who are growing closer together in their marriage relationship during deployment.  Some of these stories form the basis of EorP devotions. We have also observed, met and heard stories of individuals who are growing closer to the Lord during deployment—and we believe that the two are linked. Growing closer to the Lord will result in a closer marital bond—as God is the source of all oneness in marriage.

The legacy for the family of a couple who is intentional about their spiritual development—even in the face of the difficulties and challenges of deployment during war time—will impact generations to come for the Lord. After all, He is the one that holds couples together. “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17).  He is the One whom we serve, the One whom we love, the One whom we follow. . . .and our desire is to be like Him. Thank you for your devotion to our Lord and Savior, and may God richly bless you as you serve our country!

“I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” — Ephesians 3:16-21

Questions to Share:

1. In what ways do we, as a couple, desire to grow closer to each other during this deployment?

2. In what ways do I, as an individual, desire to grow closer to the Lord during this deployment?

3. How are these two desires connected?

Read more

Excellent or Praiseworthy is posted on Monday and Thursday nights.

Editor’s Note: Scott and Sherry Jennings are the managing editors of the website “Intentionally Yours”. You can find it at www.intentionallyyours.org. We thank them for contributing to this teaching from their April 14, 2014, posting “Praying Scripture for Your Marriage”.

Praying Proverbs 3:5,6 for your marriage—“I pray that my spouse and I will trust in You, Lord, with all our hearts, and lean not on our own understanding, and that in all our ways we will acknowledge You, God, and that You shall direct our paths.”

Combining two lives, histories, households and expectations into a marriage is tough! Nothing will make you more Christ-like than marriage—if you let it.

We unfortunately see the world’s way for marriage every day as we watch friends and family seek selfishness instead of consulting the Creator of marriage. That selfishness can end in separation and divorce—instead of seeking our Creator who is the only One who can heal broken hearts and relationships.

Let’s pray life into our marriages! Especially during deployment, when you are geographically separated, praying for each other and for your marriage can bring you close together across the miles. Speaking His Word out loud over your marriage changes everything—sometimes from the death of isolation to life of oneness.

So shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11

Since God’s thoughts and ways are higher than yours in your marriage (Isaiah 55:8-9), and He tells us His Word when spoken does not return void, let’s speak His powerful Word into marriage!

Lord Jesus, I invite You into every detail of my life, marriage and family. I need You and Your perfect Word to be with me in every way possible. I love You and I love my spouse. I know that our marriage was created to honor You and give You glory! God, in accordance with Your Word I pray…

…that as for me and my house, we will serve You, Lord. Joshua 24:15

…that my spouse and I will not depart from each other. 1 Corinthians 7:10

…that my spouse and I will love each other and that we will love our children. Titus 2:4

…that as the elect of God, holy and beloved, my spouse and I put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, and longsuffering. I pray that we will bear with each other, forgiving each other, if we have a complaint against each other, even as Christ forgave us, so we also must do. But above all these things, help us to put on love, which is the bond of perfection. Colossians 3:12-14

…thanking You that it is not good for man to be alone, thank You for making for him a helper comparable to him. Genesis 2:18

…that I always understand that a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and that they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24

…that my spouse and I will let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from us, with all malice. And that we will be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as You, God, in Christ forgave us. Ephesians 4:31-32

…that my spouse and I will be of one mind, having compassion for one another, that we will be tenderhearted and courteous, not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that we were called to this, that we many inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8-9

…that my spouse and I will trust in You, Lord, with all our hearts, and lean not on our own understanding, and that in all our ways we will acknowledge You, O’ God, and that You shall direct our paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

…that my spouse and I remember that hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins. Proverbs 10:12

Bring my spouse and I closer to You, Lord, than ever before! And as You draw us to You, draw us closer to each other, seeing each other the way You see us, knowing the amazing plan You have for our marriage to reflect You to the hurting world around us like nothing else. We love You, we praise You, we thank You, in the powerful name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen!

Is this a magic spell that when repeated makes everything change? No. But when we pray God’s Word, we take it into our hearts and minds, and God uses it to change our perspective. That’s why He tells us to pray for our enemies. It’s easy to pray for someone you love! And when you pray for someone you don’t like, you can’t help but love them. And honestly, sometimes we don’t like our spouses, and that is when they need love the most!

Questions to Ponder:

1. What are some Scriptures you pray into your marriage?

2. Repeat the scriptural prayer above, either alone or together with your spouse.

Excellent or Praiseworthy is posted on Monday and Thursday nights.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers (Galatians 6:7-10).

Stashed away in my “archives” was a letter printed in our overseas base magazine, dated April, 1988. I do not know who wrote it, but I saved it because it expressed heartfelt appreciation from one beginning a military career to one nearing the end in a way that was particularly relevant in our military culture.

Dear Commander’s Wife,

As you leave for a new assignment I want to thank you for all your kindness while you were here at our base.

Somehow you seemed to know how nervous it made me to be around the commander’s wife, and you always said just the right thing to put me at ease. You even sought me out, shy and alone, and now I feel comfortable talking to you at parties. I even realize you can feel lonely, too.

I like the way you treat everyone the same with a gracious smile and word to all. Thanks for asking us to call you Mary (or Sue or …) and for not wearing your husband’s rank, or any rank at all. We’re all proud of our husbands, but we can’t really rest on their achievements (even if we did help a lot!). We’re all just people, we need each other; and you showed me that I’ll be accepted and liked, or not, for my own actions.

Many of us need for you to go more than fifty percent of the way (and sometimes more than one hundred percent) and maybe that isn’t fair, but it’s true. I’m so glad you remember what it’s like to be a bride, or new to the military. This is an overwhelming organization and it can be intimidating and frustrating. But it does seem like a wonderful, patriotic life, and I’m proud and happy to be a part of it.

I know you didn’t seek the position that, to paraphrase Shakespeare, has been “thrust upon you.” But you’ve treated it as a privilege and a duty and have risen to the occasion. Even if you don’t expect it, we look to you for guidance. Thanks for sharing your experience, common sense, and good judgment. . . . Remind me to never be pretentious or power hungry, and, please, don’t let me gossip. Gossip is poison!

As I watched you on base, it seemed that if there was any good you could do for anyone, you tried to do it—the Golden Rule in action. I hope those contributions give you the satisfaction you deserve. You always encouraged us to work or teach or participate in base activities freely according to our own goals. I know I don’t need to tell you that many active career wives find time to support their husbands, and their units, because it is important to them and they enjoy it. And by the way, I appreciate your showing me how to help our friend when her husband was passed over. You put it in perspective and as you said, all careers have low spots and high spots.

We young wives need training and encouragement and opportunity as we learn from you. Please remind the other commanders’ wives. Do you remember learning to manage a home, husband, and baby? I know you do. For me, right now, it’s a lot. I feel guilty if I go out and frustrated if I stay home. I’m seeking balance in my life. You help me by encouraging me to participate and get out occasionally—but don’t ever let me neglect my husband or children. I know you wouldn’t.

So, for so many things, some that have even helped us both I hope, I say thank you. You’re really a special lady, one I’d like to be like someday.


A Lieutenant’s Wife

The Scriptures that came to my mind from this letter are those that speak to servant leadership, pure living, generational mentoring, and humility at all levels:

“ . . . whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26).

“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life” (Proverbs 31:10-12).

“A kindhearted woman gains respect . . . “ (Proverbs 11:16a).

“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God” (Titus 2:3-5).

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3,4).

This letter to an unknown commander’s wife was written during the days of the cold war. If it was true then, it is even more so now in these seemingly endless days of the global war on terror. The drumbeat of today’s operations tempo, sometimes with surprise deployments interrupting what was a “normal” hum of family life makes for a stressful and uncertain military career. But the opportunity is there to live the life as credited to this leader’s wife—in integrity and the modeling of a good attitude and positive perseverance.

And let us never forget—people are watching. Let them see the fruit of the Holy Spirit as demonstrated in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control which will bring the fragrance of life in Christ into any setting.

Questions to Share:

  1. Is there a commander or commander’s wife who has inspired you to godly living? Share one story of that leader with your spouse.
  2. What attributes do you want others to see in you which can be admired, respected, and modeled?

Sowing Seeds

Written by Linda. Filed Under Marriage & Family, Spiritual Training

Excellent or Praiseworthy is posted on Monday and Thursday nights.

God’s ways are as mysterious as the pathways of the wind, and as the manner in which a human spirit is infused into the little body of a baby while it is yet in its mother’s womb. Keep on sowing your seed, for you never know which will grow—perhaps it all will. — Ecclesiastes 11:5,6 TLB

Some people know him as Chuck Swindoll, others as Charles Swindoll. But whichever name is more familiar to you, he’s a favorite. After pastoring a church in southern California for years, he returned to his native Texas and was president of Dallas Theological Seminary before founding Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco in 1998. But even before all of that he was a Marine. It’s his Marine stories that are always my favorite.

In his book on Ecclesiastes entitled Living on the Ragged Edge: Coming to Terms with Reality, Swindoll tells the story of his early days as a Marine—and how the Lord used him to “sow seeds” of faith in his unit:

“Less than two years after Cynthia and I had married, I joined the Marine Corps. The recruiting officer promised me that I would never have to go overseas—and I was stupid enough to believe him. You guessed it. I ended up eight thousand miles from home. And since Marines are not allowed to take their families overseas, Cynthia lived with her folks while I lived in Southeast Asia—another culture, another people, another language, another world! My comfort zone, my plans, my preferences had been invaded and interrupted.

At first I felt offended—my rights had been assaulted! Little did I realize that it was my chance to ‘sow in the morning’ (Ecclesiastes 11:6). It wasn’t long, however, before that began to emerge in my thinking.

Before I dropped the seabag off my shoulder on Okinawa, I realized I was facing the challenge of my sheltered life. . . The lifestyle on the island was somewhere between morally loose and absolutely debauched. I was a married man. I was also a Christian. I wanted to have an impact. I wanted to be different. But frankly, I was scared.

I had no special powers—I was just like every other guy in my outfit. But I had, thank God, Jesus Christ. I remember thinking this prayer as I lay on my bunk that first lonely night, ‘Lord, keep me pure. Give me ways to make Christ known. Let me declare it on the front end of this tour of duty so that I won’t have to live in the shame of a bad memory, hoping these guys never find out later on that I’m a Christian.’ I had no idea that someday I’d be in the ministry, no idea whatsoever. I simply wanted to ‘sow in the morning,’ not knowing when harvest would come.

I had a bunk mate named Eddie. I spoke to Eddie about Christ early on. He wasn’t interested, and he made it clear to me . . . So I honored Eddie’s request. Little did I realize how much he was watching me. I got involved in a Scripture memory program, participated in a prayer ministry, in street meetings and a discipleship program . . .

I wanted so much to reach Eddie, but I was at a loss to know how. One day it occurred to me, ‘Well, he doesn’t want me to witness to him, but maybe he’ll help me review my verses . . . ‘  Eddie agreed but said, ‘I’ll help you with the words, but I ain’t interested in being some kind of monk!’ I smiled and agreed with the plan. So we went over those verses month after month after month after month! Dear guy. He listened. He corrected me. He even encouraged me. But he never once responded. There was never a glimmer of interest on Eddie’s part. No way! Not until more than twenty-five years later.

My phone rang.

‘Charlie?’ (They called me Charlie back in the old days).

‘Yeah, who’s this?’

‘This is Eddie, your old bunk buddy on Okinawa.’

‘Eddie! How are ya?’

‘Uh, hey, listen man. I’ve been saved. My wife, too. Thanks for living for Christ!’ (I was speechless!)

‘You know, remember when you used to lay those verses on me?’

‘Yeah, I remember.’

‘Charlie, . . . it worked!’

. . . Back in 1958 I was sowing. The seeds were planted. In 1984 God brought in the sheaves. What would have happened had I submerged and given in to my doubts when God sent me overseas?  What if I had not trusted Him?

People are watching you. People are watching your marriage—even in the midst of deployment. Especially in the midst of deployment.

Are you giving them a true image of how a Christian handles challenges in life? how a Christian maintains purity? how a Christian grows in his/her faith?

Whether the seeds you sow are words or actions of righteousness, people know—and lives can be changed in the process. As the old saying goes, “You may be the only Bible that others will read.”  And it may be years before the seed that you sow is harvested. Don’t give up.

“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.”  — I Corinthians 3:6-8

Work Cited:

Swindoll, Charles R. Living on the Ragged Edge: Coming to Terms with Reality (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1985 & 2004), pp. 314-15.

Questions to Share:

1. In what ways is your marriage a good model for those around you?

2. Pray to live for Christ in such a way that others will see Him in you.

Excellent or Praiseworthy is posted on Monday and Thursday nights.

“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”Jeremiah 29:12,13

On the battlefields of the Civil War, one hundred and fifty-three years ago, the troops of the Army of Northern Virginia (Confederacy) experienced an event called for by their president, Jefferson Davis. On August 21, 1863, they observed a “day of prayer and fasting.” General Robert E. Lee issued this order in response to President Davis’ request:

“The President of the Confederate States has, in the name of the people, appointed the 21st day of August as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer. A strict observance of the day is enjoined upon the officers and soldiers of this army. All military duties, except such as are absolutely necessary, will be suspended. . . . Soldiers! We have sinned against Almighty God. We have forgotten His signal mercies, and have cultivated a revengeful, haughty, and boastful spirit. We have not remembered that the defenders of a just cause should be pure in His eyes; that ‘our times are in His hands;’ and we have relied too much on our own arms for the achievement of our independence. God is our only refuge and our strength. Let us humble ourselves before Him. Let us confess our many sins, and beseech Him to give us a higher courage, a purer patriotism, and more determined will; that He will convert the hearts of our enemies,; that He will hasten the time when war, with its sorrows and sufferings, shall cease, and that He will give us a name and place among the nations of the earth.” Christ in the Camp, p. 56

Revivals were becoming more common in the camps of the Confederacy, so much so that when the War ended and the soldiers headed home (some with new-found faith), their spiritual fervency was instrumental in creating what we now call “the Bible Belt.” Christ in the Camp is a beautiful compilation of letters and reports from the field—chronicling what God brought about between chaplains, missionaries, and pastors and the soldiers and families whom they served during the Civil War. First published in 1887 by Chaplain J. William Jones, the book is over six hundred pages of actual accounts and correspondence which can only reinforce what was true then and now—our only hope is in Christ Jesus.

The introduction to the book is written by Chaplain J. C. Granberry, and includes this description of the military soldier:

“The martial imagery of which Paul (in the New Testament) was fond shows an analogy between the life of the soldier and the life of the saint. The centurion of Capernaum and the centurion of Cesarea were patterns of faith and of a devout spirit. The soldier’s habits of unquestioning obedience to orders, of trust in superior officers, and of freedom from anxiety about things for which he is not responsible, fit into the life of faith. . . . . I have nowhere witnessed more complete, symmetrical and beautiful examples of Christian character than in the army. . . Not recklessly, but with thoughtful and prayerful solemnity, they went into fierce battle; yet the peace of God which passeth all understanding kept their hearts against alarm. . . . To God be all the glory!” (p. 15-16)

The Northern counterpart to Christ in the Camp is the fascinating book entitled From the Flag to the Cross, published in 1872. Story after story of soldiers making decisions to follow Christ—both before battle and after battle, sometimes in the hospital and sometimes in prison—fills the pages of this book by Chaplain A. S. Billingsley. The book also tells of the contribution that the U.S. Christian Commission made to the spiritual life of the U.S. Army: “The efficiency and success of the Commission were wonderful. Beginning with eighteen members in 1861, before the close of the war it had engaged nearly five thousand delegates laboring for the temporal and spiritual wants of the men. Talking Christ to them, preaching to and praying for and with them, was the principal business of a great part of the delegates. In all, they preached to them over 58,000 sermons, and held with them over 77,000 prayer-meetings, and gave them 1,466,748 Bibles and parts of Bibles, 18,000,000 religious newspapers, 1,370,000 hymn-books, over 8,000,000 knapsack-books, and 39,000,000 pages of tracts, and wrote for them 92,000 letters. The total value of the whole amount contributed in four years was $6,291,107.68. With zealous hearts these noble brethren ‘went about doing good,’ relieving and comforting the officer, soldier, and sailor wherever they found them.’” (p. 333) Among the members of the U.S. Christian Commission, who served side-by-side with chaplains, was pastor and evangelist Dwight L. Moody.

I particularly enjoy the vignettes of interviews held by chaplains with soldiers in From the Flag to the Cross. One such visit between a hospital chaplain and a soldier yielded this exchange:

“While it has often been said by the thoughtless and careless, ‘We can’t live out religion in the army;’ and although it is often said by a certain class of professors, ‘the army is a hard place to be a Christian, and live it out,’ yet at our first interview with James H. Finney, 1st N.Y. Engineers, we found him entertaining a very different view, and being fully conscious of the enjoyments and consolations of the Christian religion, he says, ‘It would be hard to live in the army without it.’ Opposed, as we are, by the combined powers of the world, the flesh, and the devil, life at best is a warfare from the cradle to the grave. And although the temptations are greater and the restraints weaker some places than others, yet, since God’s grace is sufficient at all times and under all circumstances to guide, guard, and sustain the believer, he can, if he will, at all times walk worthy of his vocation, and so live and act that his life will be an embodiment of the great doctrines of the cross of Christ. And it is impugning the wisdom, mercy, powers, and grace of God to say that he cannot.” (p. 139-140)

So we have begun with a call to prayer on the battlefield and ended with a call to faithfulness from a wounded soldier to his chaplain. Perhaps some things in military life have changed, but the charge given above from 2 Corinthians 12:9 will never change: “But He (the Lord) said to me (the apostle Paul), ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Are you feeling weak today? Remember that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” ( Hebrews 13:8)  He is the same Christ who ministered to soldiers in the Civil War, and He can minister to you today. Call to Him—He will answer. He loves you!

Work Cited:

Jones, J. William, Christ in the Camp (Harrisonburg: Sprinkle Publications, 1986. Originally published by B. F. Johnson & Co. in 1887)

Billingsley, Amos S. From the Flag to the Cross (Birmingham: Solid Ground Christian Books, 2006. Originally published by New World Publishing Co. of Philadelphia in 1872)

Questions to Share:

1. Chaplain Granberry refers to Philippians 4:7. Look that up in a Bible, and then read verses 8 and 9 which follow. How does Paul say that the God of peace can be with you?

2. In what ways does studying what was demanded of soldiers in the past inspire you to fulfill your mission today?

Inspired by the Olympics

Written by Linda. Filed Under Spiritual Training

Excellent or Praiseworthy is posted on Monday and Thursday nights.

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.   1 Corinthians 9:25-27

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. — 1 Timothy 4:8

If you have had the chance to watch any of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio, you have seen both the “thrill of victory” and the “agony of defeat.”  I can only imagine what the athletes have thought and felt when extremely narrow margins have determined the outcomes of these competitions.

The excitement of watching the performances of the individuals and the teams has included seeing how years of training has paid off in strong finishes or unexpected losses; seeing how normal “obstacles” of age have been overcome by perseverance; seeing how teamwork has been demonstrated; seeing the number of trainers and staff necessary to support the athletes; seeing the families behind the successes of all of these disciplined individuals; and seeing the patriotism that they exhibit as they compete for themselves and their countries.

It’s all been inspirational, and challenges me to put some of this in writing as I ponder what we can observe in the Olympics concerning the past, present, and future.

Inspiration from Past Olympics:  Any Olympic Games bring to my mind the story of Eric Liddell, gold medal winner of the 400m race in the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris. Perhaps you know his story from the Academy Award winning movie, Chariots of Fire. Liddell was scheduled to run for Great Britain in the 100m race at the Games in Paris, but he refused to run because the race was to be held on Sunday. His devotion to his faith would not allow him to violate his day of worship in that way. His teammate, Harold Abrahams, ran that race on Sunday and Liddell ran, instead, in the 400m race on Thursday—each receiving a gold medal. Eric’s Dad, a missionary in China where Eric was born, told him, “Run in God’s name, and let the world stand back and wonder.”  In the movie, Eric tells his sister Jenny, “I believe that God made me for a purpose—for China. But He also made me fast, and when I run I feel His pleasure. . . .to win is to honor Him.”  After Liddell’s gold medal performance, he returned to China and served as a missionary until his death in 1945 of a brain tumor while in a prison camp during World War II.

Inspiration from the Present Olympics: Perhaps my favorite part of the television coverage of the Olympics are the stories of the athletes. It amazes me to realize how far they have come in their development as athletes, and what obstacles they have overcome in order to compete at this highest level. I also like to learn about what motivates them. . . . and for many of them it is their sustaining Christian faith. The amount of strength and discipline that these athletes exhibit . . . .well, “inspiring” doesn’t even seem to be a big enough word. Check out Fellowship of Christian Athletes website for some of these stories of strength and courage—like sprinter Allyson Felix and synchronized divers David Boudia and Steele Johnson.

Inspiration for the Future:  I will never be an Olympic athlete, but I do want to exhibit the truth in the Bible which uses athletics as a metaphor for life. Two favorite verses are from Philippians and Acts:

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 3:12-15

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” — Acts 24:20

Life is a race—for most of us it is a marathon, not a sprint. There are many challenges. Deployment is one of them. In training I understand that athletes of most sports are told to fix their eyes on the goal and not to look side-to-side or behind. Precious time can be lost in distraction . . . . and it can cause you to lose the race. The same is true of our spiritual life—we are to “fix” our eyes on Christ, the things of His Kingdom, and the prize of eternal life with Him in heaven for those who know and follow Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  (2 Corinthians 4:18)

I particularly like to watch the audience cheer when Olympic athletes successfully finish a race. That is my vision of those who are watching me in the race of life: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  (Hebrews 12:1-3)

When I approach the “finish line” of life, I want to have run in such a way as to “finish strong.”  That can only happen if I am obedient to follow Jesus Christ and allow Him to lead me in this race.

Questions to Share:

1. Which of the Olympic sports is your favorite to watch?  In what ways is training for that sport like training to endure the challenges of life?

2. Do you feel that you have a “cloud of witnesses” who are watching you run your race of life?  Who are they?

3. What is your goal—what would “finishing strong” in deployment look like to you?  What would you consider to be the prize in that accomplishment?

Staying Connected

Written by Linda. Filed Under Marriage & Family

Excellent or Praiseworthy is posted on Monday and Thursday nights.

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” — Romans 15:4-6

These are not the typical verses you would see applied to a marriage study. But in thinking about what a couple goes through while separated during deployment—it might be excellent (and praiseworthy!) to consider them in order to give us direction and hope. Isn’t endurance what we need? Isn’t encouragement a wonderful gift? Doesn’t hope offer us light at the end of a dark day? And, as a married couple, isn’t unity (even though separated geographically) as we follow Christ a wonderful goal so that we can praise Him with our mouths and glorify Him in our words and actions?

Consider this. . . . .our pastor and his wife were in our local Christian book store doing some shopping when they overheard a young lady (with several children in tow) asking the bookseller for devotional material. Her husband was getting ready to deploy and they wanted to “stay connected” while he was gone. Praise God! After this military wife spent some time looking through what the bookstore had on their shelves, our pastor and his wife were able to speak to this young lady and encourage her. Between the ideas that they all shared that day—and others that we can add. . .here are some bits of advice that we pass on to couples who have the same desire to “stay connected” by using solid devotional material:

These are a few ideas for staying connected in your devotional time. If you would like to add others to our list, just add a comment to this posting. We would love to hear from you.

Praying the Scriptures for your spouse is another way in which you can lift each other up in prayer to the Lord:

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach ____(insert your names), so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give (us) a spirit of unity. . .as (we) follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth (we) may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Amen.

Questions to share:

1. Can you understand how the Holy Spirit, speaking through Scripture, can keep you unified during this time apart? How?

2. Do you draw strength from just knowing that someone is praying for you? How?

Thoughts on Military Motherhood

Written by Heather. Filed Under Marriage & Family

Editor’s Note: Many of you anticipate Heather Morgan’s writings, so we are pleased to include her latest, on military motherhood, for you today. As you may know, Heather is the oldest daughter of Angus and Denise McColl, whose story is found in “What Would It Look Like. . .?

Excellent or Praiseworthy is posted on Monday and Thursday nights.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.—2 Corinthians 9:8

I have been back at work for a month now, and military motherhood has left me, as Mary (Jesus’ mother), with much to ponder in the solitude of my own heart.

There is the hard reality that my mother would probably not have approved. Faithful to traditional models of what it means to be a woman, my mother advocated strongly for staying at home with little ones, and for the art and science of full-time homemaking. This made my childhood wonderful, and I can appreciate that raising five daughters was a full time job. On one occasion, my father related to me that an insurance adjuster advised him to increase my mother’s life insurance policy, as he would not be able to afford to pay anyone to do all that my mother did for us in the event of her untimely death. My father wisely listened to this counsel, and used the discussion as a humorous way of explaining how much he deeply valued all our mother did during long years of sea duty in the submarine force. It also made me aware that the unpaid work of homemakers is easy to underestimate, until you attempt to quantify it. Then, it becomes glaringly obvious that the role is often taken for granted.

I had always thought I would follow the path my mother took, and am still surprised to find myself on active duty in the Army while raising our first child. My husband, a Reservist and full-time graduate student, is also navigating a much different experience than he anticipated for much of his life. To say that he is “Mr. Mom” seems demeaning, for he is not playing at being an excellent full-time care provider for our daughter–if anything, he is “Mr. Dad,” the genuine article. Though his approach to various baby-related problems differs vastly from mine, he finds ways to meet her needs I never would think of—like the night he jogged her to sleep to the song “Heartbreaker.” Who would have thought that blasting classic rock records would soothe a baby so completely? I saw it happen in my own living room, and rejoiced that God made us both, male and female, in his image. Still, there are pangs of guilt when I steal away to physical training each morning, and then again to work after breakfast and feeding the baby. What kind of woman am I, to choose such a demanding profession during my childbearing years? How will my choice to stay in the Army for a few more years affect my relationship with my daughter, and with my husband? Is this really the kind of work I was born to do long-term, or is this a detour on the road to my true vocation?

I do not have bulletproof answers for these questions, and there are better women than I who have chosen either to be professional Soldiers or to be homemakers. What I do know definitively is that the Army has made me a better mother in some tangible ways:

First, I am a far more persistent person than I was before active duty service. Somewhere between the first 20-foot rope I had to climb (with a weight vest on), and the last late night at the office poring over PowerPoint slides, I gained a kind of visceral self-reliance that I never knew I had. I learned that I could outlast the Army’s demands on my time and energy, and that even when I felt myself to be at a breaking point, there was always a little bit left, if the mission required it. I am reminded of St. Paul’s words to the Corinthians: “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.”

Second, the Army reinforced the value of camaraderie, especially that of other women, in a way that few other experiences can. While I have grown to value and rely on good collaboration with my brothers-in-arms, it doesn’t give me the pleasure I experience in the company of good, strong women who can push and encourage me toward my best self. This is the kind of fellowship St. Paul recommends to Titus that women can uniquely offer each other, when he says that older women should “teach what is good” and “urge the younger women to love their husbands and children.” In other times, this meant that women helped each other to manage their households while their husbands won the bread, but the support that women offer each other in the daily self-sacrifice of family life is timeless.

So while I value and seek the mentorship of older, wiser women both inside the profession of arms and outside, I have found that my peers often astound me with their insight, their problem-solving, and their desire to be faithful to their calling as wives and mothers. In one sense, as the oldest of five girls who grew up replicating the comforts of sisterhood in my friendships, making female friends was second nature to me, and was always much easier than my friendships with men. But I also was privileged to be part of a group of newly married female lieutenants at my first unit who confirmed for me that sisterhood was as necessary to my professional life as to my personal life. As we learned how to operate and excel in a world heavily influenced by men, we enjoyed the life-giving camaraderie that kept us afloat even on the toughest days. It is little surprise, then, that we have one-by-one leaned heavily on each other as we entered into motherhood, easing the most demanding calling any of us has answered yet. If I can teach my daughter one thing about the company of other women, I hope it is to seek its encouragement and never to play the lone ranger.

It is with fear and trembling that I work out my vocations of military service and motherhood, searching for how best to reflect the imago Dei and to imitate Christ’s supreme sacrifice and example. I only know that this is the most joyful, and the most complicated, phase of my life so far. Because of that, I believe–if God gives His saints anything particular to do in His heaven–my mother (who departed for glory before she could satisfy her eagerness to be a grandmother) is ideally positioned to intercede for me in this endeavor. Because motherhood itself is, like the rest of creation, groaning in its imperfections and radiant in its triumphs, I would not be surprised to find that the fellowship of Christian women spans the “already and the not yet” of the kingdom of heaven in this way. The thought of what my mother would say, think, or do in my situation spurs me forward in a pursuit of excellence in motherhood, joining the examples of my friends and mentors, and helping me to find inner resources I never knew I had. Whether or not I have a military career in front of me, it is my hope that I can blend the best of my mother, the best of my many sisters, and the best of the self which God gave me as a gift I can give to my husband, my daughter, and hopefully future children, too.

Questions to Share:

1.Has Heather’s writing opened your eyes to any new thoughts about being a young mother while serving on active duty? What were they?

2. How can you encourage a new parent?

« go backkeep looking »