Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday for the Military: Meet Jocelyn Green

Today it is my great pleasure to introduce you to Jocelyn Green, author of Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives! And as a special treat, read on to see how you can have a chance to win this inspiring book!

Amber: Thank you so much for joining us today, Jocelyn! To start, could you share with us a little bit about yourself and how you met your husband?

Jocelyn: Sure! I live in Cedar Falls, Iowa, with my husband Rob (a former Coast Guard officer) and our two children, who are ages two and four years old. I have always loved writing, but it wasn’t until I became a military wife in 2003 that I felt like I actually had something valuable enough to put in a book.

But backing up a little- I met my husband in 2002 at the Memorial Day church service at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, Va. (I worked as an editor at a nonprofit in Washington, D.C. at the time.) On this particular Sunday, all the military members of the congregation (which were many, since we were so near the Pentagon) were asked to dress in uniform. When the church band played the military anthems, the members of each branch were to stand and sing along with their song. I had never noticed Rob before but he was sitting directly behind me and when it was his turn to stand up and sing with the Coast Guard anthem, wow, did he ever belt it out! I just had to turn around and see who in the world this guy was. When I saw him, I was suddenly very sorry I was sitting next to a guy, who was just my ride to church since I didn’t own a car. I didn’t want Rob to think I was “taken.” But obviously, we sorted that out pretty quickly. :)

Amber: What inspired you to write Faith Deployed? How has the book (writing it and getting it published) impacted your own life?

Jocelyn: I was inspired to write Faith Deployed because I was spiritually starved for something that taught me how relevant the Bible was to me, as a military wife. Rob and I married in Arlington, Va., and moved to Alaska two days later. It was rough. One week after we arrived in the small town of Homer, Alaska, he left for the first of many separations.

That year was isolating geographically, socially, emotionally, and vocationally. But it was during that time of isolation that God really drew me to himself and showed me all kinds of truth and comfort from His Word. I felt like I was reading the Bible through new lenses (those of a military wife), and God clearly showed me how much he cares for me and still has my best interests in mind.

I thought, “Surely, there is a devotional book full of all this stuff I am learning, and even more, written just for military wives.” But I didn’t find one, so I decided to write it myself. However, I knew that I wanted to get other military wives from all branches of service to contribute to it so it would represent a broad array of experiences. The book would not have been possible without the 14 contributors.

Writing the book impacted my life greatly, because I had to look back at every hard situation I faced and evaluate what God was trying to show me so I could use it as material in my book. Doing that really helped me see how God doesn’t waste what we consider as trials or wastes of time. Also, connecting with the contributors and reading their submissions as they came in just further underscored God’s faithfulness, even in times of war, uncertainty, and pain. God is still God, no matter what. That’s the one thing we can cling to, and that’s the theme that underlies the entire book.

Amber: What was it like writing a devotional book as a collaborative effort? How did you meet the other women who contributed to the book, and do you still keep in touch with them?

Jocelyn: I loved doing the book collaboratively. I can’t even tell you how I met each woman. I had only met one of them in person by the time the book was published: Lori Mumford was another godly Coast Guard wife I befriended in Homer while I was there. Some of the contributors were already published authors and speakers for military wives, so I asked them to join me and they graciously agreed. Others learned about it from an ad I placed in a chaplain’s wife’s newsletter. A couple of them had published articles in magazines that I read, so I followed up with them and they agreed.

Since the book published, I have had the great pleasure of meeting four other contributors at conferences we have attended for military wives: Marshele Carter Waddell, Sara Horn, Rebekah Benimoff and Ronda Sturgill. Meeting these women is always the highlight of the event.

I do keep in touch with most of them regularly. I send them updates on the good news I hear about the book (awards, positive feedback from readers, etc.) because the book simply would not exist without them. And several of them are regular bloggers for the Web site that was born out of the book: www.faithdeployed.com. They, in turn, let me know when they make their PCS (Permanent Change of Station) moves, so they keep me busy updating my address book.

Amber: As a published, award-winning author, have you learned anything about remaining humble that you could share with us?

Jocelyn: Honestly, it’s very easy to stay humble about this book because I know that any credit has to be split 15 ways among all of the women who helped me write it. I consider myself an “unlikely vessel” to be used by God to speak into the lives of other military wives because I was only a military wife myself for one year. Still, it was enough time to recognize the need for spiritual support, and enough motivation to do something about it.

Amber: How can we pray for you and your family, as well as all military families in general?

Jocelyn: Thank you for asking! You can pray for me as I am working on a very tight deadline for a sequel to Faith Deployed right now- Faith Deployed Again! I’m so excited about this project, and just learned last week that Moody Publishers wants to do this. I’m working with even more contributors for this book, so please pray that we will all carve out time in our holiday schedules to write the devotions that God wants us to write. We have less than two months to complete it.

For military families in general, pray for God to strengthen their marriages, to heal the broken-hearted and to restore hope where it has faded away. Pray that even when they are hurting and face challenges, that they will recognize God’s presence in their lives.

More specifically, I just so happen to have a prayer request list for deployed military HERE, and another list for the spouses at home HERE.

Amber: Jocelyn, thank you so much for sharing with us today, and thank you for the sacrifices you have made for our country. It is an honor to host you here!

Readers, would you like a chance to win a copy of Jocelyn's great devotional book? If so, leave a comment on today's post saying you would like to be entered in the drawing, and please include your e-mail address. This giveaway is for those with a U.S. mailing address only. A winner will be announced next Monday (November 29).

Be looking for my partial review of this book soon! I can say right now, though, that whether or not you are a military wife, this book is an encouragement and a comfort. So whether you know of someone you can give this book to, or whether you yourself would like a copy, this book is a blessing!

Don't forget to leave an encouraging comment for Jocelyn, as well!

13 comments:

Renee Ann said...

This interview was such an encouragement. It reminded me why the Bible is so powerful in our lives. No matter what we're going through, God uses those same words in each heart but maybe in a slightly different way--I love that! And it's interesting how God uses times of isolation--like when Jocelyn was in Alaska--to produce fruit in us that gives strength to others. Blessings on this project, Jocelyn!

I'm not sure I know anyone who would profit from this book, Amber, so don't include me in a drawing. I pray it would go to exactly the right person! You're thoughtful to give away a copy!

Amanda said...

What a beautiful post! Jocelyn, it’s a pleasure to meet you! Thank you for all you have shared with us and for the beautiful book you have written to encourage those who need encouragement more than most. And, being a lover of romance, I must say I loved your story about how you met your dear husband. So sweet! Thank you for sharing it :)

And, I followed your link to those prayer requests and they made me cry with their urgent humbleness. I can’t imagine what it is like for our soldiers and their loved ones- the stress, pain, loneliness, fatigue, temptation and helplessness that can very easily set in. May these feelings take no root in the lives and hearts of our soldiers and their spouses, and may the attacks of the enemy, whether physical or spiritual, have no power and gain no ground in their lives. A sweet lady at my church once shared with us what the Lord spoke to her heart when she was praying and crying out to God for a specific need- “Your prayers go where you can’t go.” I’ve never forgotten that powerful truth. Our prayers and the God of those prayers go where we could never- be it on the front lines with our loved ones or in the secret places of their hearts. If I may, I’d like to share two quotes with you on the power of prayer:

“Prayer is the mightiest of all weapons that created natures can wield.” ~Martin Luther

“Prayer is the act of battle, it’s the taking of enemy territory, the removal of enemy power and the grabbing hold of promises.” ~Eric Ludy

Thank you again, Jocelyn! May the Lord bless you, your husband, and your ministry abundantly! Will be praying for that deadline, too :)

Amber, thank you for another great Monday for the Military post and for introducing us to such incredible people! And, thank you for the opportunity to read this wonderful book! Praying you have a beautiful day in Jesus, my friend :)

Blessings,
Amanda Stanley
mrose608{at}gmail{dot}com

Amber S. said...

Renee Ann,

The Bible is so powerful, isn't it? :) It is definitely amazing to think about how God's word applies to those in every situation in life! I'm so glad you were encouraged by this interview--Jocelyn is so sweet and a great example!

And don't thank me for the giveaway, although you're thoughtful to do so. :) Jocelyn and her publisher are the generous ones! Thank you for taking the time to leave such a kind comment!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Amanda,

I'm glad you could meet Jocelyn! :) And isn't her love story so sweet? *sigh*

Thank you for sharing those quotes and your beautiful, uplifting words! I am thankful for the reminder of the power of prayer. :D God is so good to listen to us and use us for His glory!

Thank you for your entry in the drawing and for stopping by! :)

~Amber

Julia M. Reffner said...

Amber, thanks for posting this.

Jocelyn, Thank you for sharing your story and for ministering to encourage other military wives. My understanding is that there is a great need there for this type of ministry.

Thank you so much for specifically sharing how we can pray. I think God has given special strength to you and other wives, not sure I could endure.

Amber, you don't need to enter me. I would love to see this go to a military wife or someone who has a friend in that position.

Amanda, Thanks for sharing another great Mr. Ludy quote, too. He just says things that you can ponder over and over, doesn't he?

Amber S. said...

Julia,

Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment! I appreciate your kind words for Jocelyn--the life of a military wife must be very difficult, albeit very rewarding, as well, I'm sure. :)

And Amanda always has such great quotes to share, doesn't she? :D

~Amber

Bluerose said...

Jocelyn-Thank you so much for writing this book! While I can't even begin to imagine what military wives go through, I know several people right now that are separated from their families. It breaks my heart, and I see and hear from their families how difficult it is on them. My sister was once part of a military family and that lifestyle can really take it's toll on families!!

I would love to be entered. I know of one paticular young lady from my church that will be coming home for Christmas, because her husband is in Afghanistan. I would give it to her.

Amber S. said...

Bluerose,

It is heart-breaking to think of the pain of separation for military families and other families who go through similar experiences. You have a very compassionate heart, and that is so sweet of you to enter the drawing for your friend. :) Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

~Amber

jenmmcclure said...

Thank you for writing this interview. I have thoroughly enjoyed it. The church that my husband is the pastor of has several military families. I have seen and hear of so many families hurting and struggling. I think this book is such a wonderful idea for the wives. We are hoping to reach more of the military in our area, to show them God loves them and to be an encouragement to them. We have seen spiritual growth and pray that it continues. I would love to have this book to read or to give to one of the ladies in our church whose husband has to deploy quite often. Thanks for bringing this book to our attention.
jenmmcclure(at)yahoo(dot)com
Jennifer

Amber S. said...

Jennifer,

I'm so glad I had the opportunity to interview Jocelyn. She's so sweet! :)

Thank you for ministering to our military families--that is such a precious ministry! I think this book is a wonderful idea, as well, and thank you for your entry in the drawing!

~Amber

P.S. Sometime in the future I will be giving away two copies of another devotional book focused on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Be sure to check back then, too! :)

KC Frantzen said...

Jocelyn,

Thank you for answering His call, and putting things in perspective so well. Good on ya!

Congratulations on the success and may the next one minister to many.

Amber - you're a wonderful person to be doing this blog. Thank YOU for your heart!

I thought I was on your list to come to my inbox but it didn't so I'm going to try again. Sorry I've been away (I've actually been FAR away but had Internet access!) - so - will try again. I very much enjoy reading these!!

may at maythek9spy dot com - would love to win and read and pass it along. Thank you for doing it!

Know that we have prayed for all our military families today. May Skype work - especially today! May all of our warriors be under God's protection and in His will. May our warrior families know His Love.

Amber S. said...

KC,

You're so kind--I LOVE having this blog and hosting the "Mondays for the Military!" It has been such a blessing in my life. :)

And now worries! I'm glad you could stop by for this interview/giveaway, and I always love seeing you around whenever you have the chance. :)

Thank you for praying for our military and for reminding us to pray for them, as well! Amen to your last paragraph!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Oops! *No* worries, not *now* worries! ;)

~Amber