Tuesday, December 25, 2007
After the second of the four-and-a-half hour drive I knew it was important that I was there as my husband was struggling to stay awake and asked me to drive, but when I saw our son walking towards us no one could ever convince me differently that I wasn't where God intended for me to be. He was so excited we both got to come. As tear streamed down my face, and he tried to fight back his, I thought to myself, "How am I ever going to let him go after 3 seconds!" (That's how long you're allowed to hug them.) I guess knowing his dad was waiting to hug him made it somewhat easier...
We had so much fun hearing all about his six weeks here and seeing how he's grown. He smiled with a sense of accomplishment, fulfillment and purpose all day long! At 5:15 this evening we said our good-byes and watched him walk back to his barracks. Kevin turned to see if I was crying and asked me if I was OK. I assured him I was...until Sunday when we will say good-bye with the uncertainty of when we will see him again. Knowing we have four more days with him makes me extremely happy for now. It was a very special day and a Christmas I will never forget. I'm so thankful that I didn't have to miss it and that the Lord used my other children to speak to my heart and show me again how truly precious they are, so willing to sacrifice their time with us so that their brother wouldn't have to be alone on Christmas.
Monday, December 24, 2007
The sound of the children playing with their cousins upstairs and conversations of what life is like being in the Army coming from the kitchen make it so real that we are home for a sweet visit. We're at my mother-in-laws today, after a long day in the airport (due to delays) and plane ride, and her love and hospitality make me smile. She is one of the sweetest and most loving people you will ever meet. I can't think of anyone more giving than her. She's raising three of her grand kids and the evidence that she loves us all very much is visible to all who know her.
Yesterday was the first "memorable" plane ride for the twins and they were beyond excited. They thought it was so much fun (I'm glad someone did!). Kevin and I got tickled at them several times. Our funniest moment of the day was our visit from Santa Claus at the airport. We didn't make it out of our chairs fast enough when we saw him coming and Kevin was as red as his suit. I'll just say he was quite the character and a little scary!
We finally arrived safe and sound about 10 p.m. and stayed up until 1:30 a.m. The boys said it worked out better for us since it was only 11:30 p.m. back home. We were up 5 hours later.
This afternoon we will celebrate Christmas with all his family and then head to my parents this evening. Tomorrow is still uncertain for me as our son called and has the day off and asked us to come spend the day with him at the Air Force base. My husband will be leaving bright and early in the morning to go be with him but doesn't want me to leave the twins on Christmas day so our daughter and I may drive up later in the day. I'm trying not to think about it too much, but I'm really want to go with my husband and be with our son. It's tough when there's more kids to think about...not to mention the rest of my extended family. I will get to spend time with my son for several days around his graduation at the end of the week, but the thought that I don't know how much we will get to see him after this weekend lingers in my mind. Plus, not being with my husband on Christmas day is very difficult to accept as well. I've just being praying for direction and trusting that God will give me the guidance I need and the heart to accept whatever it is I should do. Either way, just hearing my son's voice a few days ago was wonderful!!! He sounded so happy and excited about his future. I can't believe he's about to graduate from basic, and I'm so glad it's gone by quickly. I can't wait to see him!!! I couldn't ask for a better Christmas.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
He was sure glad to get back home and out of the cold!
He's in a Stryker... Preaching to the Soldiers...
His assistant (far left), another Chaplain and himself.
Pretty cool to be issued your own Humvee, huh?!
There are only a limited amount of times I will get to be with him when he's ministering to the Soldiers so seeing these pictures makes me happy! I love seeing the smile on his face, and knowing he is reaching out to young men (many the same age as our own son) makes me love him all the more.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
As I read this I was reminded that I need to put on a little more clothing today. Not the material, external kind, but that which guards my heart and mind. There are days I'm just picking up pieces of the armor, not all of it. How beneficial can that be? Would I ever want my husband to go out into the battlefield with only some of his protection? No way! Today the Lord has used the sounds I hear of gunfire to awaken my heart to the war around us. Not what I can see on the news or hear on the radio, but the spiritual battle that takes place all over the world and so often goes unnoticed...or so we think. Our hearts and minds need to be protected. Our children needed to be dressed for battle. They may be too small to put it on themselves so we have to help them. Are you dressed for battle? Are you guarding your heart and mind? Are you helping your young boys to put on their armor? Those are the questions I asked myself this morning.
I woke up struggling with the thought of going to church for some reason...mainly because I miss Kevin and just wanted to lay around the house and stay out of the cold...but God lead me here to this scripture to remind me that it's not beneficial to me or my boys to skip church. When I heard the gunfire from the Soldiers in training I felt sorry for them that they were out there on a Sunday morning and I guess from there the Lord just began to speak to my heart. I'm grateful he did! I must go get dressed and wake up the boys for church!
Thank you, Lord, for the reminder to put on the full armor of God. Thank you for your Word that is living and active, sharper than any double–edged sword and penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; that it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. I needed to hear what you had to say today.
Friday, December 7, 2007
This was many years later at the same spot.
Now our son will be the one wearing the Air Force uniform, while his dad wears his Army uniform, and we will take another picture in this same spot in just a few more weeks...when he's in his final days of Basic Training.
I can't wait for that day to get here!!! I am so ready to be able to spend some time together, as a family, with our son. Only 20 more days!!!
by Monk & Neagle from the album The Twenty-First Time
Come and walk with me, my son
The weather didn't really cooperate, but it made me smile when my dad told someone that he wasn't here for the weather anyway. We still had a lot of fun! It was neat for me to get to show them what it's like living on a military installation. Just a week before, the twins and I discovered something fun and inexpensive to do so we shared our new found entertainment with Granny and Pops...bowling!! It was a lot of fun. I think it will become something we do regularly! One day I let the twins miss school so we could travel a little. We ended up in a bit of a snow storm when we went to play in the snow, but it was still fun. It's not every day that you get to build a snowman (or snow bunny....we're not sure what it was exactly) with your Granny! I left the camera in the truck and it was too cold to walk back and get it so I have no pictures to share of that day.
My husband is ready to come home to us and his warm, comfortable house and bed and shower and home-cooked meals. It's been a great ministry opportunity, and he is very happy to be there with his Soldiers, but I'm sure he is getting tired and ready to come home. He sounds good every time we talk and I feel blessed to be able to get calls periodically! I'm so very, very thankful that times have changed and we can carry phones wherever we go. I know it can have its disadvantages sometimes, but I praise God that we have them so we can keep in touch with those we love. It's wonderful what we can do now. Soldiers away at war are sometimes able to see their families while talking to them, and even the birth of a child, via the Internet and I think that is so awesome!!
Not being able to hear from my son very much makes me even more grateful for technology. I've been waiting for a letter that he was supposed to get to mail last week and it still hasn't arrived. The waiting and not hearing from him is tough! I can't imagine what it must have felt like in past wars to have to wait on letters from your children or spouses! I am thankful he's not at war right now and that I at least know where he is and that he's not in danger. Praise God! I have friends whose husbands are at war though and I know how much it means to them to get an email or phone call.
Well, I know my thoughts are random but my life is pretty random right now!
Sunday, December 2, 2007
I haven't heard from my husband yet today and I'm praying all is well. He had a very long, hard Ruck March last night and 5 services to preach today. I know he is excited about preaching so I can't wait to hear from him! The twins and I spent some time on our knees praying last night as we knew he was out marching for the night. It was so sweet to hear them praying for their dad and all the Soldiers with him, and their brother and the other Airmen training with him right now. I feel so blessed to have such fine young boys. I can't thank God enough for them!
We're about to head out to church. I am so happy God led us to this church off post. It has been such a blessing. I look forward to worshipping with other believers this morning! Nothing takes the place of the one-on-one time time of worship between me and God, but this is so important, too. I'm thankful that all over the world today Christians are gathering together to worship and honor God. There's just something so amazing about that! I'm so moved to think that today, even though we are apart, my husband and I will both be worshipping the same God. The services will be very different - I'll be sitting in a warm church, in a comfortable pew, while he'll be standing out in a cold field of snow, probably with a few Humvees to shelter them from the wind, worshipping with other Soldiers.