Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Monthly Moving Challenge

(Frodo) "I wish The Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had ever happened."

(Gandalf) "So do all who live to face such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."

- Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Let Go: Are you wishing and praying that your circumstances would change?

Start Today: There is nothing wasted in God's economy. Will you view each event - every difficulty, hurdle, and disappointment, as well as every joy - as a gift from God to mold you and the members of your family?

Move Ahead: What will you do "with the time that is given you?" Ask God for the strength to be the best steward of His gift of life.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Moving On Tips

Bloom From Within

(Adapted from After the Boxes Are Unpacked by Susan Miller)

Are the spring bulbs blooming where you live? As a mover, you are very much like a one of these bulbs. When planted, you lie dormant for a season until you put down roots. Then your sprout begins to appear above the earth, and finally, you bloom. I suspect that during this move, you've given priority to everyone else in your family, leaving your own sprouts to look pretty wilted. Let's pick off the dead leaves and flowers and give you the opportunity to bloom.

Become your best through the fragrance of your life.
" Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation-an aroma redolent with life." (2 Cor. 2:14-15). When you walk around carrying the aroma of Christ, people will be drawn to you. What will make you different in your community is not that you are new in town, but that the fragrance of Christ surrounds you. You will be known not only by how you bloom, but by His fragrance that you wear.

Become your best through your uniqueness.
" formed me in my mother's womb.... Body and soul, I am marvelously made!" (Psalm 139:13-14). Isn't it great to know you are not made with a cookie cutter? You are an original! That's the very best reason to be yourself, love yourself, and be good to yourself! God made you unique because He wanted your bloom to be one of a kind, distinct from all the others.

Become your best through your beauty.
"One thing...I shall behold the beauty of the Lord" (Psalm 27:4). Christ is the creator of all beauty, both inside and outside. Your outer beauty is only skin-deep. It's the beauty from within that radiates in your life. I would rather see your heart than your hairdo. I'm attracted to what matters to you inside, rather than how you feel about your appearance. It is the indwelling beauty of Christ in your heart that allows your outer beauty to bloom. You are, in essence, God's bouquet to the world around you.

Here are 10 ways to help you "bloom" and to be a lovely fragrance to those you meet:

1. Try one new thing each day.

2. Don't compare.

3. When you meet someone for the first time, look her in the eyes, and give her a firm handshake and a smile.

4. Focus on being, rather than doing.

5. Seize the day!

6. Expect a positive outcome from your move.

7. Go to a park that has playground equipment and swing!

8. Walk as much as you can.

9. Count your blessings every day.

10. Eat right.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May Moving Story

...a little glimpse of the Holy One at work behind the scenes...

Naomi in Arizona

Thank you for your kind and caring letter. Whenever I hear from you people, I say a hearty "Bless you!" right out loud. It's so good to have your friendship and support.

One of your Prayer Warriors has written to me, quoting many uplifting passages from scripture. How nice! I make it a point to read something inspiring and holy every day, but I seldom have received it coming right to my email inbox! Usually I have to go look for it.

My mother often said, "God moves in mysterious ways. How true that is! I sometimes get a little glimpse of the Holy One at work behind the scenes, and it fills me with thankfulness. In my relocation process, I notice these things most in the moments when I manage to relax. I'm beginning to see those all-important people connections forming. A friendly clerk in a little store, from France. I have fun practicing my rusty French conversation skills with her! A lovely welcoming spirit at the Sit and Stitch group that meets at the library. She helped me feel more "at home" here, and told me where I can go to find great yarns and fabrics for my knitting, crocheting and sewing projects.

I also saw God's magic at work in the wee hours a few nights ago. I woke up about 1am and felt wide awake. Although I almost never go outside in the middle of the night, I had an urge to go to my car to check on something, and I decided not to wait until daylight. I stepped outdoors and immediately caught my breath in wonder. There was a crystal clear sky above me, jet black and studded with bright stars and constellations -- sheer beauty and majesty! It brought tears of joy, and a sense of the presence of the Artist whose handiwork was displayed before me.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

May Devotional

Ever felt weary, worn-out, and frazzled, with a desperate need for relief?

Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, work outside the home, single or married - the stress of moving can easily overcome you at times. It is obvious that women carry a heavy load in the moving process-from packing and unpacking, to getting a house in order, to starting a new job. Add to that the loss of relationships, loneliness, and the feeling of being disconnected, and it can be overwhelming. You simply feel like you've gotten lost in the shuffle of moving-and life.

Sometimes when your load is heavy, you become too busy and distracted from the one thing that will restore and renew you - resting in Jesus. Oh, my moving friends, unpack God's word in your heart! Run to the shelter of His arms by taking everything to Him in prayer. Rest in Him, rely on His strength, not your own.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Drawing closer to God is a vital part of taking care of yourself before and after a move. Physically, you can feel exhausted. Emotionally, you can feel drained. Spiritually, you can feel dry. Come near to God and He will come near to you. James 4:8

God will restore, refresh, and renew you as you surrender all to Him. He restores my soul. Psalm 23:3

Scripture to Remember: Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31

Question to Consider: Am I taking care of everything and everyone but myself?

Prayer: Oh God, I desperately need you! I am worn-out and weary from the heavy load I am carrying. Fill me with your presence and your peace. Give me rest and strength for each day. I run to you and yearn for your arms of comfort. Amen

Thought for the Day: Today, I will rest in Jesus!

- Susan Miller

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Heart Notes from Susan

My dear friends,

Most of you know that I have a soft spot in my heart for military wives who keep the home fires burning while their husbands are deployed. I have traveled near and far to love on them, encourage them, and share God's word of hope. Listening to their stories, holding them in my arms, and praying for them is a treasure that I hold most dear. Even now, I can see their faces clearly in my mind -some etched with smiles, a persevering spirit, and the determination to push through another day without their man; while some are etched with tears, weariness, and fear that he might not come home.

Military wives are always anticipating another move and leaving behind a close network of friends who are often a support to each other. Time and time again, they leave the familiar to face the unfamiliar. To read about military wives in an article, or hear about their hardships on the news is one thing, but the privilege to be up close and personal with them brings me to my knees with the reality of their circumstances.

I received an email this week from one of my military friends, who asked our ministry to pray for her. She is already in my prayers, and in the arms of our prayer team. Will you join us in praying for my friend, and for all military spouses?

Here are some ways you can pray along with me:

For those who are grieving over the death of a spouse.

For those who are physically and emotionally exhausted, weary, and overwhelmed.

For hurting hearts and broken relationships.

For those who are lonely and afraid.

For daily encouragement.

For strength when facing another move.

For peace and contentment in their circumstances.

For trusting God in all things and for all things.

For Godly friendships.

For a grateful heart.

For those who do not know Jesus.

I am grateful for you as we join together across the miles to prayerfully support the women who serve on the home front while their husbands serve our country, both home and abroad.

From My Heart to Yours,
Susan Miller