It’s no secret that I love to read. It’s also no secret that I like to have a morning routine which includes some personal growth. These two things help to control my anxiety levels extremely well. So when I linked up with Jen McDonald in a blogging group and she asked for some people to review her book, I was all over it. I mean the topic was right up my alley and it’s 30 days of reflection and encouragement which I could add to my morning routine. NO BRAINER! So I happy volunteered to review her book and I am so glad I did.
Jen McDonald as she says, “has been married to the military” for over 25 years. She’s a mother of four and one of her sons is in the military as well. I really connected with the fact that she’s been around the block with the Air Force since my husband is Air Force as well. Her family has been stationed all over the world, including Europe which is where I am now. She regularly writes for Military Spouse Magazine and that is a dream of mine. Then to top it all off, she has a strong Christian faith and coming from another military spouse, I know that’s not always easy to do but it’s so important. So not only are Jen and I practically best friends (she doesn’t know that yet though LOL) but her book You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse is THEE perfect daily devotion for me, and any other military spouse out there.
You are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse is a book of 30 daily readings designed to encourage, strengthen, and uplift military spouses. Whether it’s a deployment, move, or raising military kids, Jen McDonald presents real-life solutions and inspiration from someone who’s been there. Written from the perspective of faith, Jen includes related Scripture and a short guided prayer with each reading, as well as journal prompts and practical tips in the form of Basic Training for Spouses. (Taken from the back of the book.)
I am sure you are curious about the book now and want to know what you get. Well Jen was very brilliant in the way she set each daily reading up. She starts out with a quote. I actually have a chalk board in my kitchen and I have started writing the quote on my board each morning. Then Jen goes into a personal story pertaining to the topic of the day. Then there is the “Basic Training for Spouses” (BTFS) section. This section is her suggestions on how to handle it if you are put in the same position or end up feeling the same way she did in the situation. She really has some wonderful advice and even after almost 6 years of marriage, being a military spouse plus the 8 years of being in the Army…I still learned a few things from her BTFS sections. After the BTFS section Jen provides a scripture or two from the Bible to help guide you as well. Then you will get to the guided journaling section which is called “Think About It”. Each daily reading is then closed out with a short prayer for you to (in my case) start your day. I know that it sounds like the daily readings are long but I promise you, each one is only a few pages long. Reading each day will only take you 5-10 minutes. Your journaling, if you choose to do it, will take as long as you want it too.
I love the whole book, all 30 daily readings, but my absolute favorite is titled “Embracing Where You Live”. It is like Jen took my thoughts right out of my head and put it on paper. Seriously though, my husband and I have had this conversation at least a 100 times in the last 2 years alone. I have personally experienced military spouses that constantly say, “I can’t wait until this assignment is done.” Or they say, “Why did I even move with him, he should have come by himself.” It never ceases to boggle my mind because my husband and I view each assignment as a new adventure. We laugh when we hear a spouse saying this because where you are stationed right now is not permanent. In another 3 (give or take) years you will be heading off to somewhere else. Why not get out and experience what the place has to offer instead of complaining the whole time. I absolutely LOVE Jen’s BTFS section on this daily reading too. She lays it out there and tells you to explore, get out there and meet people, buddy up with the locals and even addresses the, “I hate my location” statement. Jen says it best…”While moving on to a new assignment isn’t ever easy, I hope you begin to view military life as the adventure it can be!”
I am telling you, it doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned military spouse or a new one, this book is bound to help you get through some (or all) of your daily struggles. Being a military spouse is NEVER easy. Most of the time you feel like no one understands what you are going through but I promise, we have ALL been there or will be there. Being a seasoned military spouse doesn’t mean this life is easy to live because I have been around MANY seasoned spouses who struggle just as much as a brand new one. This book is for any and every military spouse so go pick it up today or you can order it here! Also, make sure you connect with Jen over at her website so you can see for yourself just how awesome she is!
If you have read it then please feel free to comment below with some of your favorite parts/advice. We need to bring this community of spouses together and start supporting one another. A huge thank you to Jen McDonald for helping me feel like I am not alone in this journey. Now get to the store and GET THE BOOK! 🙂
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