One More Night with Frogs (Giveaway of Faith Deployed by Jocelyn Green!)

January 21, 2011 27 Comments
By: Jocelyn Green, author of Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives. We are giving away 3 copies of Faith Deployed today! Read on for details…

When do most people commit to make a change in their lives? Other than right after a brush with death, which is pretty hard to top as far as motivators go, I’d venture to say it would be right now—January.

This is the month of New Year’s resolutions, fresh calendars, and good intentions. But the energy and optimism characterizing the beginning of the month soon fades, as 88% of New Year’s Resolutions fail, according to a December 2010 survey.

Why? Because change is hard.

Change hurts, even when it doesn’t harm

One of my favorite memoirs is Found Art: Discovering Beauty in Foreign Places (Zondervan) by Leeana Tankersley. She wrote this book based on her first year of marriage to a Navy SEAL. They married in San Diego and eight days later forged a new beginning together in Bahrain. The changes she experienced were just as drastic in her own spirit as it was in her surroundings. I love how she describes it:

“Change is horribly uncomfortable. Like the wrong pair of jeans, change pinches and squeezes in the most inconvenient places. A lot of wriggling and writhing is involved. Maybe even some sucking in and prone posturing. Just when you think you’ve fit in, you realize you’re spilling over the top and sides in the worst way. Very, very little ease.” (Found Art, p. 19)

Strangely enough, even when change will be good for us, it can still be hard. Remember the story about Moses calling down all sorts of awful plagues on Pharaoh in order to convince him to release the Israelites from slavery? The second plague was frogs. Exodus 8 tells us that they came up out of the water and covered the land. Pharaoh pleaded with Moses to ask God to make them go away.

“Moses said to Pharaoh, ‘Be pleased to command me when I am to plead for you and for your servants and for your people, that the frogs be cut off from you and your houses and be left only in the Nile.’ And [Pharaoh] said, ‘Tomorrow.’” -Exodus 8:9,10

Tomorrow? Really? If it were me, I’m pretty sure I would have said, “Right now!” Wouldn’t you?

Bad habits can become our pets

The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly why Pharaoh wanted to keep the swarming, slimy frogs around that night. Did he think they were cute?  The decision is shocking to me. But perhaps there is a lesson to be learned from the frogs and how they relate to the changes we need to make in our own lives.

How many times have you thought about a bad habit you’d like to break or a new discipline you’d like to develop in yourself, but decided to put it off? I know I’ve done this more often than I’d care to admit. For some reason, even if we know our habits (frogs) are bad for us, it’s easier to keep them around than to make a change. Maybe, just maybe, those little frogs start to seem like pets after a while. Could it be that after we’ve had our habits for some time, we don’t mind them anymore?

The new beginnings that happen to us, we can’t do much about. The new beginnings which happen within us, however—those are completely up to us.

If there’s something you need to change in your own life, don’t wait until next January rolls around to make a New Year’s resolution. Don’t spend one more night with the frogs, like Pharaoh did. Ask God to help you (claim Philippians 4:13!). Make that change and watch as a new beginning –a very positive one—emerges for you.

A big thanks to our readers for making the first week of our launch party such a blast! Come back next week for more giveaways and a chance to win an iPod Touch! Today we’re giving away 3 copies of Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives by Jocelyn Green, and it’s also the LAST DAY to enter to win the Kindle 3G, just surf over to this post for details.

Here’s how you can enter to win Faith Deployed… Entries must be received by tonight at midnight CST, and winners will be selected randomly and notified via email.

1) Comment below to answer the question: What new beginnings are you looking forward to this year? What changes do you expect and how will you make it through them?

2) For EXTRA entries, do one or all of the following. The more you do, the more entries you will have!

-Like us on facebook (Moody Publishers)
-Follow us on twitter @MoodyBooks
-Follow this blog by signing in to Google Friend Connect on the right hand sidebar
-Subscribe to this blog via email or RSS by clicking the icons in the top right corner

Jocelyn Green is an award-winning freelance journalist, author, editor and blogger. She is the author of Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives and co-author of Battlefields & Blessings: Stories of Faith and Courage from the War in Iraq & Afghanistan. Her next book, Faith Deployed . . . Again, will be released by Moody Publishers in August. Jocelyn’s Web site www.faithdeployed.com provides ongoing support, encouragement and resources for military wives worldwide. She is also the editor of www.WivesinBloom.com, the online magazine for Christian Military Wives. She lives with her husband and two preschool-aged children in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

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27 Responses to One More Night with Frogs (Giveaway of Faith Deployed by Jocelyn Green!)

  1. Emily says:

    My husband left this morning for his first deployment. I expect a BUNCH of changes and challenges this year. Hopefully my three small children will see that their Mommy is a strong, Christian woman worth looking up to.

  2. Emily says:

    My husband left today for his first deployment. I expect a lot of changes in this new year. Hopefully my children will learn that Mommy is a strong woman worth looking up to. He left today and I found this giveaway tonight…..seems more than coincidance.

  3. Esther S. says:

    My husband and I are getting ready to move across the country for his new job. It will be moving back toward home for him, but far away from anything familiar to me. We are excited about it, because we will be closer to his family. Though I know the vast amount of changes to most areas of our lives will be great.

  4. Susan Hickman says:

    My husband, Bill, and I will be married 43 year on May 22, 2011. I retired recently and we are making many changes this year. One change is we are protecting Sundays and Mondays as ” our weekend” to make sure we have special time together. We have to say NO to some other things which come up but, we want to carve out this time for each other. We treasure that time because we’ve experienced separations in the past. Bill served in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003- 2004, a 14 month deployment when he was well into his 50′s with MOARNG. We spent years in the 60′s/ early 70′s during his active Marine Corps days with 2 small boys. I have a very special place in my heart for military wives and families. Only if you have been one can you truly appreciate all the daily sacrifices made. I’m sure this book is filled with helpful and encouraging words I can share with the wives I know.

  5. Bill says:

    Some of the new beginnings I am expecting:
    The call to pastor another redevelopment church,
    The wedding of my son,
    The start of a doctoral program,
    and my wife’s return to college and:
    we will make it through these changes with prayer, trust, faith, obedience, joy, hope, hard work and more grace than we deserve or could imagine all because of the Most High God who loves us, saved us through Christ, called us and empowers us through the Holy Spirit.

  6. email subscriber too
    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  7. gfc follower

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  8. I don’t know of any new beginnings that will happen this year. Changes I expect will come this fall as daughter will be going away to college and living in dorm. How will I get through, God’s grace.

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  9. Sheri C says:

    This looks to be a challenging year for me. A recent move, and now a deployment. Trying to find my way in a new area far from family and friends. As I began this year I vowed to draw closer to the God who is in control of it all. To face each day with His hand leading me and guiding me. I believe that even through the highs and the lows that this year will take He has ordained them all. In order to walk through I must rely on Him to lead.

  10. Ashleigh Bradford says:

    My family is facing its first deployment this year. My husband is in the National Guard, and we don’t live very close to an Army base, The closest one is almost 2 hours away. My new beginning this year, is to learn (somewhat on my own) what it is really like to be an Army wife. I also plan to do more…praying, praise, worship, Word reading, etc.

  11. Lisa says:

    This year we face another deployment in a new location. I would like to begin this year by renewing my relationship with God and placing Him at the center of my life. I’ve also decided to dictate specific times in morning and evening for down-time to both begin my day and end it with peace. My husband and I have been praying with the kids every night, and I hope to incorporate more activities beyond church into our daily lives–most especially as we prepare for my husband’s absence. I know that God has prepared a place of peace and joy for us as His children, and I trust that He will deliver us through this as through all hardships.

  12. Karen Kelley says:

    My husband will be returning from deployment but we all know the deployment doesn’t end there. We will face the challenges of reintegration which are often harder on me than him. After all, it’s been me at home with our four precious children :-) . We have completed a couple of devotionals this deployment, including The Deployment Dare, and that has helped keep the lines of communication open. We will continue those when he comes home, pray, and take it one day at a time!

  13. Our prayers are with you and your families as you face deployment, thank you for sharing honestly the struggles it brings. For those of you with husbands entering deployment, please visit Jocelyn Green’s website for ongoing encouragement, we want you to have a support base! You can find Jocelyn blogging at http://www.faithdeployed.com/blog/ and http://www.wivesinbloom.com. Be blessed!

  14. This year is all about New Beginnings for me, personally. Having just overcome the challenges of a deployment, PCS, and the holidays, I am ready to focus on one aspect of my life that has been dreadfully neglected. And, what has been neglected, as usual, is me. Here is a hard life lesson that I have learned recently in my attempts to appease everyone’s demands and everyone’s needs. In doing so, I have pushed myself to the brink of utter exhaustion, mentally and physically. I woke up one morning this past week, and I saw someone in the mirror I didn’t recognize. The face was haggard, the skin was pale, and there were large, deep circles under the eyes. The eyes were almost lifeless, devoid of any happiness. I did not recognize the woman staring back at me, and I wondered how I could let this happen to her. I took a deep, long, look and began to cry.
    The lesson here that I learned is that while Jesus wants us to serve others, it does not serve anyone well if we are not spending a little time caring for ourselves. I was reminded of the Martha- when Jesus called her out for doing too much and not taking time to nuture herself at His feet- like her sister, Mary. I called a dear friend, shared my troubles, and asked herto pray with me, and she did. But before she hung, she told me point blank that the first thing she learned about me is that I put 110% into all I do, and she too, had wondered when I would reach a breaking point.
    And, I am nearly there. But thankfully, God gave me the wisdom I needed to prevent a melt down and an emotional disaster. So, this year, I am making a point to make time for myself. To spend time on pursuits and interests and pull my God-given talents out from under the bushel and into the light. I am going to start taking care of me- so that I can better care for those God has entrusted me to nurture. I am learning that it is okay to set boundaries and to lovingly say no to others. Saying no is not a selfish act in and of itself; rather, it is an act of self-perservation.
    I have a long journey ahead of me. But, I expect that with God’s grace, gentle nudges from my friend and hubby, whom I ‘ve asked to help keep my A-line personality in check, I expect that the beginning of Next Year will be even better than this.
    Wishing you God’s grace and blessings. God Keep and Protect all of our Troops and their families.
    ~Kirsten O’Neill

  15. Becky says:

    My husband will probably deploy for the 6th time this year. I don’t do deployments very well and this will be the first one with 2 small children. I am praying for good friends to come into my life and surround me this year. I would love to have this book as an encouragement during this journey.

  16. This year will be very challenging for my family! My husband is deploying in a couple of months! It will be so hard for me without his help, but mostly hard without his presence! I will need to rely on God more than I ever have for his strength, courage, and love to carryone as head of household!

  17. Linda says:

    Reading through the Word and gleaning new truths from the Lord. Pray more often. New beginnings–finding a paid part-time job that fits me needs (phy. limits).

    I Like you on facebook (Moody Publishers).
    I follow us on twitter @MoodyBooks.
    I follow this blog by Google Friend Connect.
    I subscribe to this blog via email and RSS.

    Thanks for a fun week!!! Congrats on your new site!

  18. Roxane says:

    My new habit that I am trying to do is to extract the precious from things. It is so easy to look at everythng and see what is wrong, but I am challenged to look for the good and point it out the the person. As a mother to 4, 1 of which is a tennager, it is sometimes very hard to see the good, but I have noticed that as I am looking ofr it, I am finding precious everywhere.

  19. Tiffany Shedenhelm says:

    As hard as it may seem, this book is hard to find here in colorado springs. My husband is currently deployed and being in a new place finding a new place of encouragement and worship is difficult to say the least. I have heard nothing but positave and helpful things about this site, which has helped me emensly throught this deployment. I would love to have a copy of this book, after reading I would donate it to the local library here on post to help other women and wives here. Thank you so much for all that this book and site brings

  20. Nicole Wilkins says:

    This year will have lots of new beginings for my tiny family. As we head into our first deployment, I am finding it takes a lot of faith and focus to not fall into a state of despair. My husband being gone will mean a lot of firsts for me as well as my 2 year old son. I know my heavenly father will watch over him as well as us threw this next year. Whatever obsticals are put in our path as a family, He has a reason for putting it there. God has a plan for us all, as a family and as individuals :D God bless

  21. Erin says:

    My husband left for our first deployment 2 days ago. We are just beginning this journey! My plan is to take things day-by-day and to extend grace and mercy to myself, my children, my husband and even the Marine Corps every day. Challenging for sure! Only with God by my side can I hope to even come close to being successful, but i’m sure gonna try! I am arming myself with prayer and a supportive circle of friends and family. I am looking forward to getting to know my husband all over again through letter writing and i’m looking forward to seeing the growth in our relationship. Can’t wait to see how God uses this time! And I can’t wait for my husband to be home so we can reflect back on this unique experience together. :)

  22. Amy Greene says:

    Well what can I say. My husband is a Tech Sargent inthe USA. He wil be leaving this summer for his 3rd deployment. His 5th time being away from us as a family for more then 6 months.He would really like a book reader. He injoys a lot of diffrent reading. One that he is big on is his bible. But if he was to have a book reader that would save on packing an extra bag just for books. He is also in to reading a lot of other books right now that will help him teach our kids how to have a personal relationship of their own with Jesus Christ. We have gone thur this a few time before with God on ourside it never makes it any easier. Also I just want to say thanks for the blog. I pray that it reaches many people. Thanks and God bless.

  23. Stephanie Hugley says:

    I would LOVE to win Faith Deployed. My husband is leaving again this year, and it’s been a little over a year that he has been back home. We have three kids together, and our family goal is to try to get closer to God. We are putting our Faith in Him to help us through this time. Our family has had many deployments, however, it does not get any easier. Every deployment you learn to adjust, and relearn your strenghts that you forgot you had. I think this book would help me on my personal journey to turn my worries completely over to God. I know that He will be with my husband and our family as we are apart, as well as when we are together. God Bless and Good Luck to all!

  24. Ricky Kirk says:

    As a pastor, I have had church members who had family that served in the military. My sister is also married to an loadmaster in the Air Force, who is regularly out on the field and has had several short term deployments. I would love to gain a better understanding of the needs someone faces with deployment. This year I am endeavored to accomplish several tasks: I am working on memorizing the book of Philippians and the book of Galatians; reading through the Bible using Professor Grant Horner’s plan (reading 1 chapter a day from 10 lists); participating in two online blog review collaboration thingies(?) on church planting and missions; and on and on…

    The addition of this book would give me needed insight into ministering to those in a situation I am not familiar with… thanks for the opportunity!

  25. Pingback: Give-aways at Moody Publisher’s new blog

  26. carole says:

    I would so love to win faith deployed for my new daughter- in -law my son is deployed for the 3rd time and newly married the wonderful new changes this year for me are getting to know his new wife and supporting her and each other through this deployment also as a way of strengthening our faith thanks for the opportunity to respond! God bless !

  27. Hannah says:

    This year my husband deploys for the first time, so we are experiencing a lot of changes. I am not looking forward to him being gone, but I am looking forward to see what God has planned for both of us. New friendships, new challenges, new growth, etc. Even though this will be a hard separation, I know God is faithful and will show Himself during this time, as long as we come to Him. Whatever changes happen, I know God will be standing by my side and my husband’s side.

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