“Mama, when are we moving?”
I heard a little voice ask me before I even opened my eyes. My sweet girl often wakes me up by asking questions as if we were in the middle of a conversation.
Sometimes she starts with funny statements or light questions, but often she wakes up with big questions just like this one. It does give me insight into what is on her heart and often creates beautiful moments together as we talk about life, snuggled up under the covers.
This question made me pause because as a military family we know all too well what the moving question means and how hard it can be to start over again. We have moved a dozen times and this move, that my girl was asking about, will be our lucky number thirteen! I could feel the weight of her question and started to worry about all the details of the move, but then I glanced down at her sweet face and huge smile, it struck me that she was coming from a place of joy. She was excited and full of anticipation about what was to come. Her attitude immediately shifted mine.
So with a smile on my face, I looked into those big blue eyes and said, “The move this summer is going to be quite an adventure!” She sat straight up in bed and wanted to hear all about what we would see and do. As I started talking about the new house and friends we would make, I felt myself getting excited too. I watched her delight in all that was to come and it was helping me find joy as well.
We talked about friends, school and how we would get to go to the beach. We dreamed about the sandcastles we would make and the picnics we would have together. My heart lightened as I started thinking about the possibilities that would come to our family because of this move. I had been worrying quite a bit and had hardly slept the night before as I planned out the next few months. There are so many details in a move and it can be hard not to become overwhelmed. This is why I was glad that my girl had reminded me that the move would go smoother if we shifted our hearts to hope and gratitude instead of focusing on the mountain of tasks we had to accomplish.
So, I did what I train people to do and that is to stop and write down three things to be grateful for.
I have a gratitude journal that I carry with me and when I feel worry or fear creeping in, I pause and shift to thankfulness and hope. There are two steps to shift towards gratitude that can help us create more joy and notice the positive.
- The first step is to write down three things we are grateful for
- The second is to pray from a place of gratitude.
So, my little and I pulled out our journal and started writing down what we were grateful for in the move. We got so excited that our list filled up the page of our journal. My sweet girl included being grateful for a new best friend and all of the playgrounds we would find. My list included new friends, more time as a family and getting to live by the ocean. After we finished our list, we stopped and prayed, but I noticed my prayer had shifted to a prayer of gratitude and thanks instead of desperation and demands.
The next time you find yourself in the middle of worry over a move or just military life in general, pausing and shifting to thankfulness is a wonderful tool to turn that worry into hope.
If your heart feels heavy and the worry is swallowing you up, stop and write down three things you are grateful for in your situation and then lift those up in prayer.
There is beauty in the middle of the mess and when we stop to notice, this will help us walk through it with grace and even joy. I know that some days can be tough, but there is always something to be grateful for.
So, for all of you lovely ladies that are in the middle of another move, I send virtual hugs and lift up prayers for you as you step into a new season. I encourage you to pause and write down all that you are grateful for in the move and notice the beauty that arises in the middle of it.
As a military family, it is not a matter of if we will move, but a matter of when which makes it a very unique lifestyle that requires strong community with God at the center to live with grace and joy.
This is why I believe we are blessed to have a sisterhood that comes together through Moms in Prayer so that in the power of prayer, we combat worry and find support.
One thing we don’t have to pack up is prayer. Let’s come together in gratitude for this military life and the adventures that are to come and pray for the strength to walk through it all. I feel blessed to be part of a sisterhood of military moms gathering in prayer.
“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20 (NKJV)
Chantel Mathson is the new Military Families Liaison for Moms in Prayer. As a military wife, Chantel has moved 12 times and has a heart for helping military wives connect, find their purpose, and create community. She shares her heart and home with her husband, three kids and two dogs. She would love to connect with you. Contact her at: Military@MomsInPrayer.org Also on Facebook @MIPMilitary or www.facebook.com/MIPMilitary/ and on Instagram: instagram.com/teawithmilitarywives