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Sunday, October 28, 2012

God, help!

I just had some really great time with God in my living room. I am so thankful for Jesus' sacrifice, so that we can come to God in all of our mess any time and any place we want. How awesome is that?! We don't have to make an appointment, we don't have to do anything. Just call out and He's there waiting. That makes me feel SO good!

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

I have certainly been coming boldly to the throne of grace this week; repeatedly. I have called on God so much these last seven days. I have come to him a teary, snotty, emotional mess because I can. Because I need to. I need Him. I have no idea how people live this military lifestyle without Him. I wouldn't even want to try.

Justin being gone so much gives me a unique opportunity to grow closer to my Creator. I tend to come to Him more when I am in need of something; encouragement, energy, joy, you name it. When Justin is gone I need all of the above, and then some. Many times during the day when the girls are giving me trouble or my loneliness overcomes me or I feel my temper flaring up, all I can say is "God, help me! I need Your help right now! I can't do this by myself!" What usually happens is things don't get easier; I just get better at handling them.

There is a quote from my favorite movie
Anne of Green Gables, which I love:
What we must bear in mind is that all these trials and tribulations that pop up in our lives, well, they serve a very useful purpose: they build character, as long as we can hold onto the lessons we've learned from our mistakes. 
I know that God knew I'd be living a military lifestyle before I was even born. I think the fact that my birthday is on Veteran's Day is just a humorous nod to that fact. I know that this is where I'm supposed to be. And so in the midst of these separations from my husband, these times that are really really hard for me, I try to see the bigger picture. I try to remember that all of this adversity is just a chance for me to grow as a woman, mother, wife, friend. All of this is working together to form me into a woman of character, strength, and dignity, if I let it.

I have been praying for God to give me a new perspective on all this, because I really have been struggling for a time now. It's been all I can do just to get through each day. I find myself constantly looking at the clock and the calendar, wishing time away so that my husband can be at my side again. But this is no good. I am to cherish the time that I have, because it goes all too quickly. I need to find joy in my sweet girls, even when other areas of life aren't how I'd wish them to be. And so this is what I'm working on. I'm practicing, learning, growing. Trying to truly live one day at a time and be grateful for what I have, rather than hateful over what I don't have. It's not a lesson I'll learn in one day; it's something that I certainly will have to work at. I'm thankful that I have a patient God ;)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

:(

I am feeling rather hopeless at the moment. Exhausted. Frustrated!!!!!!!!!!! Discouraged. And I just miss my husband. I miss his company. His help. Justin has only been gone two days. Two days. And I am already losing it. These girls are driving me crazy. Avery has decided to be extra emotional, weepy, pouty, and whiny. I cannot stand whining. Brooklynn is super whiny and fussy. She won't sleep well at night. I am at my whit's end. Already. And it's only been two days.

How will I make it six months?!

This month of Justin's absence is just looming in front of me, long and dark. I try to be a good mom. But I lose my temper, often. I cry when I want so badly to be happy and strong for my girls. But I fall apart. My patience is too thin. My joy is too fleeting. I am on a roller coaster.

This is what the military does to your emotions.

Being a [temporary] single mom is so hard. I have no idea how mothers (or fathers) live like this constantly. Because it is absolutely the most exhausting thing in this world. Physically, emotionally, mentally exhausting. And two kids is a whole different ball game than just one. I have written before, I'm having a hard time adjusting. It's been five months since Brooklynn's arrival and I'm still adjusting. It's so much easier to handle one by yourself than it is two. Oh my.

And so here I am, laying it all out. My mess of emotions. My tear-stained face and puffy eyes. My heavy heart. My anxiety, fear, desperation. I'm embarrassed, to be feeling this way after only two days. But I can't cover it up or hide it, I'm sure it's written plainly on my face and heard in my voice every time I answer the question "So, how are you?" I'll usually smile and tell you I'm fine, but here's the truth: I'm not fine. I'm struggling.

And I can't help but feel that this is right where God wants me. At the end of myself. Reaching out to Him in my desperation, acknowledging that He is the only one who can help me. He is the answer. He is my source of strength, joy, peace. Not Justin, not my girls. As much joy as they give me, they also give me grief. And frustration. The joy that stems from them doesn't rival that of my heavenly Father. The only question is: will I hold onto all of this and muddle through myself? Or will I hand it over to His waiting hands and accept His grace and His help? I'm going to try and accept His help. I need Him. I can do none of this on my own.

Monday, October 22, 2012

see you in a month

It's now 7 p.m. and both girls in bed...I'm sure I'll be following them shortly.

This morning we were all up at 6 to take Justin to the base and drop him off for his month-long trip. Our goodbye was fast and easy, no tears. It was still dark out and I was exhausted, so my emotions weren't fully awake yet. Today was actually a really good day. Or it would have been, if it weren't for Brooklynn's incessant crying. Whew. That girl wore me out today! I don't know if it's because she was tired from getting up so early or she could possibly be working on some teeth. Who knows, I just know she was fussy. Avery was good, though. We did our homeschooling, went on a jog, played at the park, had a lunch picnic, walked to the store, baked and decorated halloween cookies. Then we carved and painted our pumpkins, that was fun. I opened them up so Avery could see what was inside. She wasn't thrilled. She wouldn't even touch it :/ But she had fun painting her pumpkin and that's all that matters!

This evening all through our bedtime routine she was just whiny and teary, saying she missed Daddy and asking when he'd be home. My own eyes fill with tears every time I hear or see her missing him. This part of military life is no fun.

I have been surprisingly calm today. I'm sure it's all the prayers, and perhaps the fact that I've done this a billion times before...well sort of. I've never been alone with the two girls before, but I'm sure we'll manage just fine. However it is more difficult to do certain things like conduct Avery's bath time and pick up around the apartment with a baby on my hip. *sigh* I'm exhausted. Maybe that's why I'm calm. I'm just too tired to care about much.

I do miss my husband though... As I sit here in this silent apartment I do feel a little sad. This is always our treasured time alone together, sitting on the sofa side by side watching our favorite shows or movies and stuffing our faces (maybe while he's gone I'll stop the nighttime snacking and drop a few pounds!). He's just so much a part of my life, its impossible not to notice his absence. I love him so incredibly much. I'm thankful to have him as the father of my children; Avery's missing him proves what an excellent one he is.


                                                                       my soulmate

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

my love

With my husband about to be absent from our home quite a lot in the near future, I think God is really trying to teach me something... Well probably a whole list of things, but here is the lesson closest to my heart at the moment: it's not about the quantity of time I have with my husband, but rather the quality of it. I tend to get so bent out of shape thinking about all that Justin is going to miss and how much he's not going to be here.. He'll miss my birthday two years in a row, he'll possibly miss Brooklynn's first birthday, he'll miss a whole 6 month (or longer) chunk out of our lives; he'll have missed two of Avery's birthdays, our wedding anniversary, Thanksgiving. He's about to be gone for a whole month.
No matter which way you spin it, my husband over the next several years will be gone a lot more than he will be home. There's no denying that, no changing it, no wishing it away (believe me, I've tried).

"So", God says to me, "why not focus on the time you do have with him?" Duh. I mean, doesn't that make more sense? After all, wouldn't I rather have 10 really good, awesome, amazing love-filled days with Justin than 100 terrible, dull, mundane days? Of course. Although the days without Justin are going to be hard and lonely and sometimes downright miserable, I vow to try and focus on his return and on making the time that I do have with him really count for something. No pointless bickering, no silent treatments (these are my trademark), no complaining or nagging. I am going to do my darndest to write the best love story that I can for us, not with words but with my actions. It is my desire for our marriage to be a living testament that love can last; marriage can work, happily; it is my goal to show people the order that God intended for families. I hope to show people the love of Christ through my love for my husband. Putting him first, in his place, as the head of our home. Being a submissive and patient wife. Not judging him but extending grace at every opportunity. Being slow to anger, quick to encourage.

I know that I have a long ways to go, and much work to do on myself. But I gladly accept this challenge. While Justin is off on his missions to protect our freedom and country, I will be on my own to adjust my attitudes and create a closer family. It won't be easy, and we won't always get it right; neither one of us is perfect, nor will we ever be. But I'm sure we will both learn a lot along the way... :)

**www.wels.net :

SCRIPTURAL PRINCIPLES OF MAN AND WOMAN ROLES

In the Home
14. The role relationships of man and woman find their fullest expression in the close union of marriage. In a Christian home a husband and wife are partners and co-heirs of God's gracious gift of salvation (Eph 5:22-33; 1 Pe 3:1-7).
15. Since God appointed the husband to be the head of the wife (Eph 5:23), the husband will love and care for his God-given wife (1 Pe 3:7). A wife will gladly accept the leadership of her husband as her God-appointed head (Eph 5:22-24).
16. As the head of the wife and family the husband has the prime responsibility for the spiritual instruction of the family (Eph 6:4).

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Home

Home...
Where is home anyway?
Is it where I used to roam and play?
Near strawberry fields where horses stray?
Home such a nice word to say.

Is home where I took my first step?
Where Mom nursed me back to health after I caught strep?
Or is home where I grew up?
Where around a long table we used to sup?
Is home the Virginia mountains, so big and so green,
Where coal mines and railroads still can be seen?

Is home where from my first memory springs?
Or where you gave me my wedding rings?
Is home where we had our eldest girl,
Where she toddled about with a head full of curls?

Is home where I used to ride bikes?
My siblings and I, still just small tikes?
Is home where I used to roll down the hill
Or where I ran too fast and took a big spill?

Is home where I used to go to school?
Where I first saw your face, at the town pool?
Is home where we had our first date?
Where we stayed up talking until it grew late?

Is home the room I shared with my little sis?
Where we'd fight and dream in complete bliss?
Is home where I used to play in the snow?
Is it where my love for you started to grow?

Is home where I used to make mud pies?
Or where my sibs and I hid, pretending to be spies?
Is home in the branches of my favorite apple tree,
Where I used to climb high and feel so free?

Is home in the old white house, or the small brick one, or the tall one?
Or is home where I first lived with my husband?
Is home in the creek with waters icy cold?
Is home where I was young, or where I'll grow old?

Or is home where I am now?
In a tiny apartment here in socal?
Where we tuck in our girls and go to sleep ourselves?
Where there are toys on the floor and photos on the shelves?

No. No one place I can call my home.
My home is wherever you may roam.
All of these places hold memories dear,
But my home is wherever you are near.

Everywhere you go, you take with you my home,
That's why sometimes I feel so alone.
So while you're away I'll stay here with our dears,
And take care of them and soothe all their fears.

But I won't feel at home or at peace or at ease
Because my home is off somewhere overseas.
And upon your return I'll feel home once again;
Like a ship lost a sea who finally spots land.
As I gaze in your eyes and kiss your sweet face
I'll smile because I know my home is in your embrace.

*I started thinking about home, and what home means, and where my home is... And this poem just popped into my head so I had to get it out :) I hope you enjoy!

Monday, October 8, 2012

lonely day

I keep waiting on all of this to get easier... Three weeks later and I'm still waiting. Justin is just gone so much, home just long enough to tease me and then he's off again. Often he's not home when he says he should be, which is just heartbreaking on my end. I know that our time together is precious and fleeting. It's so easy for the disappointments and heartbreak to turn into resentment; towards Justin, towards his job. I know that's not fair. I know that Justin wishes he were home with us just as much as I do...but still sometimes resentment is what I feel.

I know that all of the training is important; I know that at the end of the day everyone's goal is to get our men home safely from deployments. The only way to do that is to ensure that they are trained as well as  they can be. Unfortunately for me, this means they must be gone a lot...traveling to new places to train in new areas. My head is so thankful for the training; my heart abhors it.

I'm so thankful for my little girls. I don't know what I would do without them; I love to have my house full of family. But right now the days are just long and lonely, hanging endlessly over my head. I feel like I always have a cloud over my head; I feel like Eeyore out of the Hundred Acre Wood. For now I look forward to the end of another day, so that I can just be alone with my thoughts...