Monday, January 31, 2011

Deployments...Afternoon of the First Day

I was thinking I might get a little farther than the first day, but then I got to thinking about not just the leaving but what occurred later in the I'll continue on the first day.

After I was able to hold it together for a little while, I told the kids (at this time our daughter and her husband were still stationed at Fort Lewis as well so that means all but our oldest son when I say "the kids") I would take them to Olive Garden for a's one of those comfort food type of places, right?! Little did I know God had already put someone in place to give me encouragement - our waitress.

Walking to our table, the waitress asked how our day was going. I said it was a tough day and my husband had just deployed to Afghanistan...thinking like most people she would just say, "Oh," and not really know what to say next. However, she reached back and touched me and told me she was so sorry.

At her touch, my heart melted. I had to go to the restroom and try to compose myself. I am certain it was more than the words she said, and the encouragement she tried to give. Her touch said I really do care. Her touch reminded me that I would not feel my husband's touch until he returned for two short weeks of R&R, but mostly that I would not feel his touch for nearly a year of my life. And, her touch reminded me that God knew my pain and was near.

Each time she came to check on how our meal was going, she would check on me as well...and every time I would have to go to the restroom to compose myself. The kids giggled after a while, but also felt the pain of his departure. We tried not to dwell on it...but honestly, it was just about ALL I could think about that day. We had been apart before with other deployments when he was in the Air Force, but never a whole year and never to such a dangerous place. I couldn't wrap my mind around either of those thoughts and, to this day, I'm not quite sure how people without the Lord make it through those dark times.

I'll end day one with this word of encouragement - My heart ached like never before, but God was faithful to bring strength and comfort and see us through to a new day.

Friday, January 28, 2011


I'm thinking it's time I start blogging a little about what the deployment was like since I didn't do too much of that while my husband was away. I'm going to try to come up with ideas on what I'd like to write about, but if anyone has any questions please feel free to ask away, and I'll try to answer you as best I can. Maybe that will be the easiest way to start. Maybe I'll start with his departure day...

The moment he drove away from the battalion area was horrible. I've never, ever cried so hard in my entire life. I could barely breathe. It felt like someone was literally riping my heart out, and I wondered how I would be able to handle the next 12 months of my life.

Getting to stay for the ceremony and hear my husband pray over the Soldiers was wonderful, but when they walked towards the bus I walked to where I thought he was going so I could give him one last hug. Unfortunately, the (loud and way-too-hyper-for-the-occasion) bus driver led him another direction. He got on the 2nd bus at the very back and not being able to touch him one last time seemed to take its toll on me. I think I would have been better off had I got that one last hug. Instead, we just looked at each other through the window at the back of the bus and cried.

Looking back I don't know what I could have done differently to make that day easier...I don't think there is anything actually. It is what it is - HARD! If you're nearing a deployment with your spouse, my first piece of advice is make every moment count before they leave. Hold on to each other tight and don't fret the small stuff. I won't tell you to not count down the days because you will do it anyway. We tried, and there's just no way not to count down.

As I end this post, I'd like to remind everyone to continue to pray for those in harm's way and the families they leave behind, and the families who lost their loved one. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Beautiful Morning!

Though I see them every day, they still amaze me. Out our front window are beautiful mountains, and out our back window is the bright sunshine. So bright that I could stand to use my sunglasses in the house. I love opening up our curtains in the morning and seeing the beauty all around me.

Though I've known Him a long time, God still amazes me. He never changes, He's always there, yet still He is beauty to my eyes.

May this day be filled with His goodness and grace, and may the things we experience bring us back to give Him praise at the end of our day!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Family Project

Last week my husband mentioned building a tactical gear stand for his office, so I decided to try to find one with directions on-line one morning when it came to mind. After finding a picture with directions, I wrote down materials needed and directions, and emailed my husband to let him know it would be fun to build it together this weekend.

So off to Lowe's we all went on Saturday, purchasing a 4x4 post, three 2x4's and some screws. And, we even had enough material to build his assistant one as well. Here's a picture of our loaded with his gear (and some pins that have special meaning to this journey we're on), and the other a gift to his assistant.
It was an easy build, and lots of fun to do as a family. My husband and one of the twins cut the wood, and the other twin and I did some sanding to make it look nice and have a smooth feel to it.

I find a lot of meaning behind this look of his tactical gear hanging on a cross...
It makes me think of Luke 9:23 where Jesus says, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." The gear makes me think about the scriptures I studied this morning about putting on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-17). It also makes me think of why they wear the gear...and where they wear it. Which brings about a new be honest, there are days I have to put on the full armor of God in order to take up my cross and follow Jesus.

There are times I don't feel like following where He leads. Sometimes where He leads us isn't fun or exciting and requires complete trust in Him. Sometimes where He leads us isn't easy and we're sort of dragging the cross, instead of carrying it, hoping He will change His mind when He sees it's so difficult for us. Other times we throw that cross up on our shoulders and take off running, thinking we can conquer the world, only to find out it's not as easy as we imagined it would be. I've done all these things and had to trust in what I know God to be, and that is faithful. He has walked every step of the way with me and, though I've struggled with certain areas of this journey in the chaplaincy (like the deployment), God has been good and I've grown from those rough moments.

If you are reading this and are struggling to pick up your cross today, I understand. It's a daily thing and each day has its challenges, as well as its rewards. My prayer is that we will see the One who was nailed to the cross and who is victorious over sin and death, and that we will live in a way that brings honor and glory to His name. He knows our struggles; He knows our hearts...yet, He loves us and gives us the strength to follow even when the cross is heavy. May your day be filled with the joy of His salvation.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Military Balls

Well, tonight it wasn't my husband and I dressing up for a military ball; it was our twins. They are there now and I'm praying they are having a great time, and making new friends. They looked so handsome in their uniforms that the girls will probably want to go say hi, and the other guys might be a little jealous. :)
A big "thank you" to everyone who has been praying for them in this transition. We can tell they are doing better. I think tonight will be another positive step since they were excited to be going! :)

Update: They had a really good time!! :)

Friday, January 21, 2011


All four of us in the family make the comment time and time again how quickly the days seem to fly by. I'm not sure if it's the daily sunshine or what, but it's nice...nice when it's the work/school week.

If someone were to ask me, "What's it like when your husband comes home from a year-long deployment?"...well, this is what I'd say...

I want to spend ALL my time with him, day and night! He's been home since mid-July but it feels like it was yesterday sometimes. I never take my time with him for granted. When he's at work I miss him. When he's in another room I miss him.

I'm pretty sure it's the same for him for the most part. He usually calls me around 11:30 to see if I want to come to his office for lunch. Of course, my answer is always yes. I find myself making sure I'm ready for the call and could leave the house or a store if/when he calls.

Call me crazy...I am crazy. Crazy in love! So, I guess I say all this to say that I'm thankful the work-week is almost over and I can spend 24 hours a day with my husband for the next two days. Love it!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

So Thankful!

This morning I woke up to a magnificent sunrise and, after dropping off the twins at school, I went to PWOC and had such a wonderful time! It was so awesome to finally meet some of my blogging buddies face-to-face for the first time, and to chat with some I've already met...and to meet new people! What a huge blessing!

God is so good! He knows just what we need and provides us with it at just the right time. Thank you, Lord!

(Short and sweet for today)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


One of the things I LOVE about where we live now is the sunrises! I know the sun rises everywhere...but it actually stays visible, not hidden behind the clouds, for us to see and feel until the sun goes down at the end of the day. :) Those who know me and where I came from, know that seeing the sun is something I missed a lot while there. Having it back in my life every day is WONDERFUL!!! I absolutely LOVE it! There were weeks I thought I might just go insane if I didn't get some sunshine soon. God knew I needed a place with LOTS of sunshine so I'm thankful He sent us where He did.

The only hard part has been the school situation...but I trust God in that as well. The twins are doing better. They don't like it any better, but they know that at the end of the day they have a mom and dad who love them very much and pray the best for them, and a fun home to come home to...and they make the best of it. I know God will bless them in their circumstances and give them the strength to make it through. He already provided them with each other many, many years ago so no matter where we go they have each other. He also gave them a teacher on day two that had the counselors give them new classes, Pre-AP, which they still find easy but are together for all but two elective classes. That, too, makes school life easier.

We have much to be thankful for! Most of all, that we are TOGETHER as a family again! I'll never take that for granted!

Praying for those of you I know are separated from your loved one at this time, or soon will be. May the Lord bless your husband's ministry down range, and yours on the home front. May He bring strength during the difficult times and peace each and every day, each and every moment, as you await their return and yearn for their safety.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

MY JROTC boys...

I had to post this handsome photo of my boys. Once a week they have to wear their uniform to school for ROTC & today was their first day. I had to have a photo, of course...despite them not really wanting me to! So, here they are...handsome as ever!
So proud of them and the fine young men they are! It's not easy moving around, especially in high school, but they support the work their dad is doing for God and country and I appreciate them for that. May God bless them here, and wherever else He might have us go before they leave home.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Family Photo - Christmas 2010

This Christmas our family was so blessed to all be together. Our older two kids are married now, and since we were all going to be in the same state I asked them months before to let me know what they would like our Christmas to be like, and if we could set a day (didn't have to be on the 25th) for it to be "just us", we celebrated Christmas as a family at my daughter's house and we actually were able to get a family photo (I love how cameras have advanced and you don't have to find someone to take photos for you)!
Notice their dog, Lady, walked over and joined us. We laughed about that all day. It was a sweet time, and I was thrilled to have us ALL TOGETHER!!! It was a lot of fun, and I'm praying we get to spend every year together (no more deployments over Christmas, please!!)...and, eventually, have grandchildren joining us! :)

(Yes, Lady is at our feet again! haha!)

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's been a LONG time...

I know it has been a really long time since I last posted anything so most people probably think I've given up. I haven't. There's just been A LOT going on! We're now at a new Post and still settling into our new home. We traveled over 4,400 miles in the month of December, from moving and then going home to see all our family for Christmas, and then back to our new home again. It was wild! I was about ready to throw a tantrum every time we got back in the truck. My body seriously ached.

We also moved ourselves...and had only one full day to unload all our household goods, by the time we found a house (also helped pack and load all the owner's household goods), before going to visit family 10 hours away. We literally unloaded everything, and headed out the next day. It was wild, but thankfully our daughter and her husband drove the 10 hours to come help us! I don't think we could have headed out when we did without their help.

Now we're starting over and trying to settle/adjust to a new area. The sunshine is awesome...coming from a very rainy, gray area! The most difficult part has been moving our twins, now freshmen, to a new school in the middle of the year, and in a totally different area of the US. Today begins week two and I spend a lot of time praying they will adjust well, and make new friends quickly. I also thank the Lord they have each other!!! What a HUGE blessing!

To those who still check in on me, thanks! I hope to get back to writing soon. I miss it! Your prayers for our twins would be wonderful. Thank you, and Happy New Year!!! (I still can't believe we're in a new year.)