Inside my Soldier’s cap

4 Comments
My Soldier's cap

My Soldier’s cap

While in the process of doing laundry during Nate’s eight-hour pass from Ranger School, my Soldier’s filthy patrol cap appeared among the pile.

“How can a person’s head get so gross?” I wondered this in the confines of the hotel laundry room. Ew.

But that Army cap became a thing of beauty when I looked beyond the grime.

Oh how I love this child.

Oh how I love this child.

Unbeknownst to me, prior to starting Ranger School, my Soldier had written in black Sharpie pen these words found in Philippians 4:12-13.

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. 

I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,     whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 

I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

As the Hubs and I were scrambling around to help him on his eight-hour pass from Ranger School, it was clear that Nathan wanted us to see those Bible verses on his combat cap.

When our tired boy spoke about these words that afternoon, it was like he was speaking of a great, uncovered treasure. Although Nate has read Philippians 4:12-13 many times before, he understood them now in a more profound way. His current circumstances made the Scripture come alive. It’s so powerful when the Lord speaks to us so individually, don’t you think?

IMG_0037I guess when you only gobble down two MREs a day, get maybe two hours of sleep a night and are pushed to your absolute physical and emotional max, you really do know what it is like to be in need and to have plenty. I can’t even imagine.

Though I try, it’s beyond my grasp, my heart will only allow me so much understanding or it would crumble.

Judging from the letters Nate has sent, in many ways, our Soldier has learned contentment and joy really are found in Christ alone. The strength he summons forth is the result of training, determination and ultimately Jesus. We do what we can on the home-front but Nate realizes that the Lord is his supply. We come up alongside him best we can but the truth found on that combat cap is what really gets him through the rough patches.

Oddly enough, Nate didn’t intentionally write those verses on his hat with the foreknowledge of their relevance. It was only when the chaplain came around to visit the guys during the mountain phase of Ranger School, that Nate put the pieces together and saw how cool it was that he had chosen THOSE verses for such a time as this! He’ll never be able to read Philippians 4:12-13 the same again. Neither shall I.

So today on Memorial Day, I’m deeply humbled, proud beyond words to be the mama of a Soldier. I’m also a grateful cousin, daughter-in-law, sister, grand-daughter and friend of military service people.

Thank you isn’t enough gratitude for all those who have served.

Pray-for-Our-Troops

Check out this beautiful patriotic artwork by a military mom!

Advertisements

Blustery heart

Leave a comment

photoA cold morning finds
a mama worried –
about a Soldier,
a ministry-minded middle
and an orange hair, freckle face olive shoot.
Tears flow.
They’re not in trouble or doing anything wrong (or at least not that I, I mean she know/s of!).

Two hours later
she reads Scripture for a weekly Bible study
Gently, unexpectedly
God tucks comfort and assurance into her heart.

“It is good for a man to bear the yoke

while he is young.”

Lamentations, of course, this totally makes sense
This mama can be
a big time lamenter

And just like that
Worries find solace and melt away.

On this January day
She breathes.

Praying like Mary, thinking about Capri Sun

12 Comments
I am proud of this Soldier. I must pray fervently for him.

I am proud of this Soldier. I must pray fervently for him.

After reading Monday’s daily Scripture several times, I drop to my knees to pray for my Soldier. So much is on my heart about this strong olive shoot. I notice a verse in my reading,

“Toi, Seigneur, tu connais le coeur de tous les hommes.” – Actes 1:25

Yes, Father, you know the heart of every man. I trust you listen to my heart’s cries. Incline your ear to me, your servant, My Holy One – this is what I implore.

Nate will soon be in Ranger School. I won’t be able to speak to him on the phone or receive his silly text messages for at least two months. Though I can write him letters, the frequent communication I cherish will be interrupted.

Ranger School is physically and emotionally grueling. There are aspects about the challenge that I can’t learn until he has graduated, is rested and has fattened up a little. Monday’s reading reminded me that I need to follow Mary’s example and pray with others, for our children individually and collectively, join together and seek God’s face.

I ponder what God is saying to me in this first chapter of Acts (Actes), I think about Mary and strangely enough, the new Capri Sun commercial. Admittedly, it’s a weird collage of thoughts.

Have you seen these commercials about a new vegetable-infused version of the juice drink called Super V? Here’s a link to see it yourself. .

“Paula Ebert” wants to buy a healthy juice for her son. She wants to help her son with all of his daily struggles. I chuckle to myself when I see the mom on the dodgeball court valiantly attempting to block all shots coming her boy’s way. “NO! NO! NO!” she yells to the kids trying to pellet her son. Hands flying in the air, frantically doing her best, Paula turns to her very embarrassed boy and reassures him, “Mommy’s here. It’s ok.” Bless her heart. I don’t like Capri Sun but I really like this mama. Part of every mother wishes God permitted only good things to happen to her babies. Since we live in a fallen, broken world that can’t happen but we can intercede on our children’s behalf.

21-Day-Challenge-Badge-300x300Mary prayed. 14 D’un commun accord, ils se retrouvaient souvent pour prier, avec quelques femmes, avec Marie la mère de Jésus, et avec les frères de Jésus. 

Acts (Actes) 1:14

How precious that the mom of the sinless Savior demonstrates the legacy of prayer! As I follow the 21-Day Challenge, I observe how Mary loved the Lord in this manner. In these verses, Mary didn’t pray alone but with others and in one accord for her son. To hear someone pray for my olive shoots grabs me at my very roots. Would you please pray for my son and all the men in Ranger School? If you have ever had someone pray for your child, you know what that means to a mother.

Wonder what God might say to you? Check out all of these Bible reading options, I bet there’s one that will speak to you! Give it a try and never be the same! This is the one I’m currently using, join me and many blessings!

Some Good News for a change!

Leave a comment

Image

I want good news. I long to hear joyful stories. Often it seems as if there is one sad tale after another, do you know what I mean? Can I get an amen?!

Seventeen years ago, while pregnant with my orange hair, freckle face olive shoot, I knew a mother at church who lost her newborn baby. My husband attended the memorial service; my emotions were too intense as to offer any comfort to the grieving family.

When I told an acquaintance of this news, she followed by telling me an equally sad story about a mom who had lost a child. Every time I shared the tragedy that I was familiar with, though my belly was full of baby, it was guaranteed the listener had to tell me something worse, usually about a child.

Soon I learned to not share information like this while pregnant. It felt like the world was competing to tell me the most heartbreaking lament. Plus the OJ Simpson trial had also started. Bad news loomed everywhere.

Today I want to share Good News!

First, it is Penguin Awareness Day (my favorite animal) = yay.

Second, Jesus loves you and cares = He alone is freedom and redemption, a mushy kind of love you have never experienced. I made a mess of my life, Christ cleaned it up. I continue to stumble and goof up, Jesus grants me new mercies each day.

I like to read the Bible in French. It’s such a beautiful language and God’s Word speaks to me differently when I employ these parts of my heart and brain. I have my English Bible and my French dictionary nearby just in case something doesn’t make sense since I’m quite rusty. But today as I read Marc 1:1-8 (La Bible du Semeur version) these two words stirred my soul.

Bonne Nouvelle

Bonne Nouvelle translates to Good News. In English we say “Gospel,” I just like it better in French.

This is the Bible reading I'm going to do for the next three weeks.

I’m doing the Deeper Into Scripture study for the next three weeks but the other ones look great too! Click here for info. 

Whatever language you speak, whatever your cir-cumstances, Happy day, sad day, seriously you need Good News, Bonne Nouvelle as badly as I do.

Different versions of the Bible in French! Formidable!

Different versions of the Bible in French! Formidable!

For the next 21 days, I’m participating in a Deeper Into Scripture: A 21-Day Plan Reading Plan through YouVersion. Although I’m involved in a weekly women’s Bible Study, I need more time with the Lord. I’m praying that this simple commitment will help me connect with God daily through His Word. I’d love some friends to join me. We can share Good News together, Lord knows we need it!

Here’s the link if you want to learn more. Scroll down the page on the link for all the options, you will find one for you! What have you got to lose? Reading the Bible could truly change your life!

Five Minute Friday – Cherish

11 Comments
You have five minutes to write, join us and feel the spirit move!

You have five minutes to write, join us and feel the spirit move! Check it out here!

About 10 years ago, the Lord placed a deep longing in my heart. My boys were entering stages in life where their voices were changing, pimples were rearing their nasty blackheads, muscles were growing, I could see girls were checking them out as if they were tasty bits of candy.

God has used my story to speak into my sons' lives. I never would have expected anything good to come out of my regretful decisions but thankfully I AM NOT GOD!

God has used my story to speak into my sons’ lives. I never would have expected anything good to come out of my regretful decisions but thankfully I AM NOT GOD!

I wanted to give them a vision about sex that I had never properly learned. As a result, I squandered that gift from God time and time again. When I looked at my guys, I saw their potential and power and the fact that I forsook this treasure during my formative years.

Was it possible to teach my olive shoots a better way? Could I even dare to suggest (along with the Hubs) that our boys, virile and mighty, wait to have sex until they were married? It’s in the Bible and all but could we have the audacity to encourage them that to realize that their bodies were to be cherished? I mean, they are guys after all!

I have often inquired of the Lord why did He only give my sons to raise? His replies are deep and personal but one of them that I wish to share with you is that Jesus gave me a responsibility. He has said, “Teach those guys about Me. Train them up with everything you’ve got! Teach your olive shoots that every single part of them is worthy. Instruct them in my ways even if they are counter-culture and difficult. ”

I really hope I don't get killed for posting this picture! They still have tender hearts and strong muscles.

I really hope I don’t get killed for posting this picture! They still have tender hearts and strong muscles.

Treasure God's Word, orange hair, freckle face olive shoot.

Treasure God’s Word, orange hair, freckle face olive shoot.

As I contemplate the word “cherish” as it applies to talking about this sensitive subject, I feel that the Lord is pleased with this aspect of my parenting. They are 22, 18 and 16, so far, so good.

We are not a perfect family. My olive shoots are now 22, 18 and 16 and their paths have a few crooked places but I am blessed to see that they value their purity. They are cherishing something I did not. Bless them, O Lord. Bless them. Amen.

Aaron’s aggravated appendix

6 Comments
Awkward fun at the hospital

Awkward fun at the hospital

The appendix is a fairly useless organ but it sure can wreak havoc. If you are planning appendicitis during your college career, remain well hydrated and carry an extra dose of humor for the journey. You also might want to finish all your important papers too. Just sayin.

My ministry-minded olive shoot is at a hospital in Chicago. Yesterday in the late afternoon, Aaron began to experience severe abdominal pain. His buddies took him to the Emergency Room and following a CT scan, Aaron learned his appendix is unhappy. Soon it will vacate its home.

Let the fun begin?!

Let the fun begin?!

It stinks being so far away from my OS right now but thanks to social media, I can see Aaron and his crew made the most of a stinky situation. His friends brought him to the hospital and had already purchased him a Get Well Soon balloon. The balloon and Aaron’s buddy, Ethan have been his constant companions.

Aaron’s appendix is/was kinda dumb – can’t even spell himself! #gottago @RIPuvileveriform

Aaron will have surgery in the next few hours and probably be discharged tomorrow. I praise the Lord for his goodness and how He has worked out all of the details in advance. He has surrounded my olive shoot with a caring community and a wacky bunch of friends which is exactly what Aaron needs and what the Great Physician ordered.

I learned that sometime in the middle of the night, one of Aaron’s friends even created a Twitter account on behalf of Aaron’s failing vermiform.

A few moments ago, Moody Bible called to check in on Aaron and to make sure I knew of his condition. Since I’ve had a son at a military academy who had ACL surgery at West Point last year and now an olive shoot at a Bible university, I have no idea if this is how the rest of the colleges handle medical matters. 100% of my over 18-year-old OS have had surgery during college. Ike, if you’re reading this blog post, Mama would  really appreciate it if you changed the stats when it’s your time to get your degree.

It has done this mama much good to trust in the Lord and rely on the mighty ways He can transcend the miles and distance.

Senior table – the final product

Leave a comment