Faith Deployed…Again Online Book Club Begins!

by Jocelyn on November 10, 2014

FDA Group1

You are one click away from the Faith Deployed…Again online book club! Please find the posts at the JocelynGreen.com blog and join in the discussion. (Why not here on FaithDeployed.com? I’ll fill you in here.)

I’ll add a link to each day’s post as they go live. See you there!

Book Club Day 1: All Men Are Like Grass

Book Club Day 2: The Words We Say to Ourselves

Book Club Day 3: Control and Fear

Book Club Day 4: The Ritual of Responsibility

Book Club Day 5: Marriage Across the Miles

Book Club Day 6: Reconnecting During Reintegration

Book Club Day 7: Broken and Alone…Again

Book Club Day 8: Filling the Void

 

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FaithDeployed.com content is moving!

by Jocelyn on November 9, 2014

Have you noticed that I haven’t been a very consistent blogger at FaithDeployed.com during the past few years? Yep. Me, too.

Have you also noticed during the last week or so that this Web site doesn’t always allow you to make comments on the blog post? (And, I wasn’t going to point this out to all of you, but the home page disappears on a regular basis now, too.)

I’m ready to make a change to solve both of these issues. Starting tomorrow (Monday, November 10, 2014), I’ll be posting encouraging blogs for military wives over at JocelynGreen.com, my author Web site. The truth is, it’s hard for me to keep up both Web sites, so I’ve decided to wrap the best of FaithDeployed.com into JocelynGreen.com. FaithDeployed.com was created when my first book, Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives, was born. It was my only book at that time. Now, I have nine books published, six of them nonfiction for military, and three Civil War novels. It’s much more realistic for me to do a good job with just one Web site at JocelynGreen.com. I hope to see you over there!

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WHY do this now, though, when the online book club is just about to begin? Well, it wasn’t my plan. I was going to do the rollover in December/January. But since the comments function is broken now, I figured we better have the book club at JocelynGreen.com so we can actually have discussions about the content.

Over the next several weeks, I’ll be transferring the most popular FaithDeployed blog posts over to JocelynGreen.com, too. You’ll be able to browse the military-specific posts by just selecting the “military” category from the drop-down list on the blog.

So from now on, please visit JocelynGreen.com. (Psst: The best way to be sure you don’t miss anything will be to subscribe to the blog over at the author Web site.)

By the way, the Faith Deployed Facebook page and Twitter account will remain as they are, full of military-specific support. And, if you’re on Pinterest, consider following these boards below.

Follow Jocelyn’s board Support for Military Wives on Pinterest. Follow Jocelyn’s board American Home Front on Pinterest.

Follow Kathryn (Singing Through the Rain)’s board Encouraging Bloggers on Pinterest.Follow Today’s Frugal Mom™ (Carlie Kercheval)’s board Must Follow Christian Military Wives on Pinterest.

Of course you’re welcome to follow all my boards if you’d like, too.

Visit Jocelyn’s profile on Pinterest.

See you soon!

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GrowingUpSocial_RD3Friends. Let me tell you, this book, Growing Up Social by Dr. Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane, is the best book for parents I’ve read in at least a year. It is NOT anti-technology, it does NOT impose unreasonable rules and principles. Instead, it acknowledges that we live in a screen-driven world, and makes the reader aware of what that means for children, and then shares what we can do to foster five key relational skills in our kids that screens do not cultivate.

The following, from ArlenePellicane.com, describes the book very well:

In our digital age, children are spending more and more time interacting with a screen rather than a real person. Technology has the potential to add value to our lives, but is it possible that too much screen time could be robbing our children of something much more valuable—namely, the emotional and social skills needed to succeed as they grow towards adulthood?

In Growing Up Social, you’ll learn how to take back your home from an over-dependence on screens.  Discover the five A + skills needed to give your child the relational edge:

The Skill of Affection – How do you show real love to another person?

The Skill of Appreciation – How do you cultivate a grateful heart?

The Skill of Attention – How do you focus and be a good listener?

The Skill of Anger Management – How do you express anger in a productive way?

The Skill of Apology – How do you mend a relationship after you make a mistake?

Today’s screens aren’t just in our living rooms; they are in our pockets.  Now is the time to equip your child to live with screen time, not for screen time.  Constant entertainment is not the goal of childhood.  No phone, tablet, or gaming device can teach your child how to have healthy relationships; only you can.

   Growing Up Social will help you:

  • Equip your child to be relational rich in a digital world

  • Replace mindless screen time with meaningful family time

  • Establish simple boundaries that make a huge difference

  • Read what’s working for the screen savvy family down the street

  • Prepare your child to succeed down the road in relationships and life

  • Learn healthy ways to occupy your child while you get things done

For more, visit Arlene’s Web page here.

Let me also point out that there is a chapter dedicated to the challenges of single parenting. Military spouses, you can relate to this when your spouse is deployed. It’s so easy to allow a screen to be a babysitter when the parent is already so drained. The authors understand that, and speak directly to this situation. Chapman also includes a very helpful chapter on the five love languages of children. (You may remember Gary Chapman and I co-authored The 5 Love Languages Military Edition.)

Also, at no point did I feel “judged” or defensive by this book. Mostly, I was too busy underlining and dog-earing, and telling my husband that he’d really like to read this book when I’m done. :) I really appreciated the scientific studies the authors referenced. I found it fascinating and helpful to learn how our brains work–which sections are used for deep thinking, and which are used for skimming, how we rewire our brains based on our activities, and the implications of that in daily life and relationships. I’m going to be focusing on nurturing the five “A” skills (affection, appreciation, anger management, apology, and attention) in our family for sure. We have already started, and I’m already seeing positive results.

The Give-Away!

Northfield Publishing is generously offering FIVE copies of Growing Up Social for readers of my JocelynGreen.com blog! So please hop on over there, scroll to the bottom of the post and use the Rafflecopter form to enter the drawing for your chance to win one of five copies up for grabs. By the way, while you’re over there, if you aren’t already aware of all the books I’ve written for military, and my Civil War historical novels, I invite you to take a peek at the “Books” tab at the top of the site once you’re done entering the drawing. See you there!

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Not Enough Containers

by Jocelyn on November 6, 2014

by Bettina Dowell

After 20 years of life in Orlando, Florida, I was so excited to move to Washington, D.C. and begin to again enjoy the experience of fall. Autumn was always my favorite season growing up in Tennessee. No amount of fake silk orange or yellow leaves spread around my Florida bungalow could truly recreate the beauty of what occurs in nature when God begins to paint the leaves in so many colors of the rainbow.

As we began to enjoy the changing and falling of the leaves our first autumn in Virginia, my daughter reminded us of something she had always wanted to do. Quite the fan of Charles Schultz’ Peanuts, she was looking forward to recreating the scene where Linus runs and jumps into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker. In order to assist her in pursuing her dream, we needed to get out and do some leaf raking, a chore I had lost track of in my Floridian dreams of fall leaf scenes.

As I began to watch our neighbors pile up bags and bags of leaves by their curbs as they completed their raking and pile making, I began to wonder if we truly had enough lawn and leaf bags to complete the task at hand. What looked like a relatively small amount of leaves when spread out over the whole yard, became quite a large volume when raked together in one space. How would we ever have enough bags for all those leaves?

Have you ever felt that way about the things going on in your life? The volume of challenges lying around our homes some days may seem to be more than we have containers to hold them. May I encourage you from God’s word today? This is how God is looking at our challenges.

There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary – we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
Romans 5:3-5 (The Message)

How is that for a change in perspective? The challenges we are facing in our life are actually the very vehicles God can use to develop an alert expectancy in us for seeing His generosity – generosity that we can’t round up enough containers to hold!

So, what are the leaves lying around your home today? Does it seem like challenges are piling up that you do not have enough containers (or strength) to hold? The very things that present challenges in your life are the same things God can use for pouring out more generous blessings on you than you have containers to hold. So start gathering up those containers to hold blessings. You won’t be able to find enough to hold all the things our generous God desires to pour into you.

About the Author:
Through years of interacting with women and their families, God has developed a passion in Bettina’s heart for women to accept and embrace their identity in Christ as His princesses.  She believes that when women truly know who they are in Christ, it affects how they live their daily lives.  God trains her graciously through His word and very often through her own many mistakes.

Bettina is married to a very handsome (now retired) naval reserve officer, Cdr. Rob Dowell, and they live outside Washington, D.C.

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He Knows What We Need

by Jocelyn on November 5, 2014

openarmsBy Lisa White

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. –Philippians 4:6

Early in December, my husband was away on a trip that was supposed to last no more than five days. The week started out smoothly, but soon a series of events caused my emotions to enter into a downward spiral and I found myself anxious, overwhelmed, and negative. Things that shouldn’t have been a big deal became mountains I was struggling to climb. Then, when my morale was at its lowest, my husband informed me that his trip had been extended three extra days. Again, this shouldn’t have been a big deal, but for weeks I had been depending on him to be home on one of the days so I could attend a function and he could watch our son. I became angry and wondered why I bother to depend on him in the first place when he has a job that is so unpredictable. [click to continue…]

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In Everything Give Thanks

by Jocelyn on November 4, 2014

 
In everything give thanks; for this God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:18

Give thanks in all circumstances? I think I’d be much more comfortable with this verse if it said: “Give thanks to God in as many circumstances as possible, excluding car breakdowns, child behavior problems, and deployments.” After all, who could possibly expect me to be thankful during deployments?

The uncomfortable answer to that question: God does. God expects and desires my thanksgiving in all circumstances. God does not command us to be thankful for everything, but we are expected to give thanks in everything. I was relieved to realize that I didn’t have to be thankful for deployments, but convicted of my need to continue praising God even during deployments.

Picture the scene of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego with me. Three young Jewish men, taken from their homeland to serve in a foreign land, are going head to head with the king of an empire. King Nebuchadnezzar orders them to bow and worship his statue, and they refuse. He threatens them with death in a fiery furnace, and this is their reply:

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego replied to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer you concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (Daniel 3:16-18, emphasis added).

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego did not know how God would act in their circumstances. In their lives, they had seen times when God provided safety and times when God allowed His people to suffer. They did not know if God would intervene, but they trusted Him completely, and they were prepared to praise Him all the way to the furnace.

The challenge is to recognize that God could choose to shower us with blessings–but regardless of whether he chooses to do so, we are to give thanks. God could keep my husband here at home with me all the time, but if not, I will thank God for the husband He has given me. God could give my children hearts of perfect obedience every day, but if not, I will thank God for being their Heavenly Father, who holds my children in His own hands. God could PCS my family to a warm and sunny climate near the beach where housing is abundant and the cost of living is low, but if not, I will thank God that He never leaves me alone, no matter where I am.

Ask

Do I give thanks in all circumstances, even those that are challenging or difficult?

Does my attitude of praise give glory to God in front of other people?

Pray

Lord, I thank You for Your word, which challenges and encourages me. I thank You for sending Your Son to provide my salvation, so that I can live in hope, regardless of my circumstances. I thank You also for ________ (fill in your own list here, as long as you like!) Give me a heart of gratitude, so that I may praise you in every situation. Amen.

*The above devotion is an excerpt from the book Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives (Moody Publishers 2008).

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Military Family Appreciation Month Give-away!

by Jocelyn on November 3, 2014

Happy Military Family Appreciation Month! In honor of this special month, please enjoy a free excerpt from Faith Deployed. . . Again (below), and a chance to win THREE special books: Military Wives’ New Testament with Psalms & Proverbs, The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, and the brand new Stories Around the Table: Laughter, Wisdom, and Strength in Military Life.

Complaining versus Confession

FaithDeployedAgain_cover_200by Leeana Tankersley

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2

“We knew what we were getting into when we signed up for this marriage. We have no right to complain.” Have you ever heard or said that line before?

Some of us have gotten good, maybe even too good, at coping. We steel ourselves into this pillar of strength, and we challenge anything to penetrate our armor. Meanwhile, we may or may not be feeling that same way on the inside, underneath our self-protective layers.

The problem with practicing this kind of incongruence—the outside and the inside at odds with each other—is that we get used to living split off from our true selves. We become accustomed to denying what’s actually going on inside us, and this creates a person who cannot be honest about her pain, cannot let others see her weakness, and cannot tolerate any kind of authentic struggle in others.

This woman sends the subtle (or not so subtle) message to her friends and to her children that the real winners are those who suck it up and deal with it and never let anyone see them sweat.

How incredibly isolating this behavior becomes for everyone. Yes, others may see us as amazingly stalwart, but they will never see us approachable. This keeps everyone dancing around each other at a safe distance, never really able to offer help and support.

[Tweet “How do we decipher between complaining and true confession?”]

So how do we decipher between complaining and true confession? Complaining is all about staying stuck, rehearsing the injustices with no desire to see things differently, change behavior, or receive support. Complaining is about wallowing and whining.

Confessing is something different altogether. Honest confession is an externalizing of an inward conversation for the purpose of gaining insight, releasing a burden, or admitting reality. Confession leads to movement and helps us get out of the grind of merely coping. It opens doors to growth and change because it is an act of congruence. By externalizing—sharing—our true state of affairs, we are better able to receive the help we really need.

It’s risky to show need. Whether the need is emotional or financial or any other kind, being “needy” is kind of passé and, well, burdensome. I want to be the kind of person who flies through life with answers and resources and decorum and brilliant ease. I want to be a “have,” not a “have not.”

Still, I have a choice. I can cover up the depth of my need and miss an opportunity for true authenticity with myself, God, and others. Or, I can take a big risk and admit that I just might need some help and support. A friend once told me that when we share our burdens with others, the weight we are carrying is divided between those listening, and our load is immediately lightened. What a beautiful picture. Carrying and being carried.

 Ask

Is my pride and sense of control keeping me from getting the support I really need?
Am I willing to listen to others and lovingly carry their burdens as well?

 Pray

God, I want to be strong, but I need safe places where I can be weak, too. Show me how to allow someone else to help carry my burdens. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

*Ladies, be sure to join us for the Faith Deployed. . .Again online book club! It starts November 10–still plenty of time to find a copy of the book!

The Give-Away!

Please use Rafflecopter below to enter for a chance to win the three book bundle: Military Wives’ New Testament with Psalms & Proverbs, The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, and the brand new Stories Around the Table: Laughter, Wisdom, and Strength in Military Life. NOTE: You need only choose one of the options listed in the Rafflecopter box in order to enter the drawing. But you may choose more than one to increase your chances.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Faith Deployed. . . Again Book Club Returns!

by Jocelyn on October 30, 2014

FaithDeployedAgain_cover1-621x1024A few years ago, we held an online book club in conjunction with Faith Deployed . . . Again: More Daily Encouragement for Military Wives. It was such a great line-up of content and discussion, I think it would be a shame not to go back and revisit it! So let’s go for it. If you don’t have a copy of Faith Deployed . . . Again yet, don’t worry–there’s still time. We’ll begin on Monday, November 10. I’ll post book club discussion starters Monday through Thursday (with a break for Thanksgiving, of course), for a total of 21 days.

Also, reading Faith Deployed is not a prerequisite to reading Faith Deployed . . . Again. They can be read in any order.

Questions? I have answers. Here you go.

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New Ministry for Milwives: Planting Roots

by Jocelyn on October 20, 2014

by Kori Yates, author of Olive Drab Pom-Poms

Military women, both wives and active duty, are some of the most incredible women around. Our strength and resiliency are unmatched as we tackle moves, deployments, and raising families. Yet, this lifestyle leads itself to times of sadness, anxiety, insecurity, fear, and loneliness.

Imagine if God could use an organization to bring us together for connection, worship, and spiritual growth, then we all go out to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world. Across cities, states, and even countries, we would find connection, joy, stability, hope, and contentment. We could change our families and change the world.

What if we did just that?

This one question changed my world, and Planting Roots was born.

Planting Roots is an organization that aims to impact military women with the Gospel of Jesus Christ for victorious living.  Through Christ-centered, engaging events, world-class communicators and worship leaders (all military wives or active duty women), we hope to speak into the lives of military women to challenge and encourage believers to live out their faith in the place they are planted and reach those who have never heard. These events, happening live and online, will bring military women together to connect, grow, and worship.

Planting Roots is simply a group of ordinary women, challenged at times and certainly never perfect, just seeking to follow Jesus and to make Him known. We would love to have you join us in this adventure through our website, on facebook, or on twitter.

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leeana_homepage-1I’m a huge fan of Leeana Tankersley. She’s a Navy wife, mother, writer, beauty hunter, soul searcher, and lucky for us, she shares her heart in books that are absolute gifts to those who read them. (She’s also a contributor to Faith Deployed…Again: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives!)

I’ve already shared about her first book, Found Art: Discovering Beauty in Foreign Places, here. Now she has a new book called Breathing Room: Letting Go So You Can Fully Lifeand she is offering one free copy to a fortunate winner! Here’s the official book blurb:

Breathing Room: Letting Go So You Can Fully LiveLeeana Tankersley, like so many of us, began to feel overwhelmed by life. And like so many of us, she assumed she was struggling not because life is inherently difficult but because she was personally failing in some way. She knows firsthand what it is to bully yourself, to put yourself down for not being able to keep it all together, to compare yourself to others and find yourself lacking. But she’s also discovered that all of the hurt and hostility and pain only add up to a life of holding your breath. What if we could exhale and let go?”

Breathing Room “is her beautiful release of self-condemnation, her discovery of the rest that comes when we give ourselves some space to breathe. She draws readers in through shared experiences of perfectionism, jealousy, and striving and shows them how to let go, how to be radically on their own team, and how to experience the broad grace that Christ has offered all of us. 

Anyone who has been trying to do it all, who has been putting on a strong front and yet secretly struggling, will find in Breathing Room both a trusted friend and a generous Savior.

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