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Monday, December 31, 2012

so long, 2012!

the close of another year always feels so bittersweet to me.. looking back on the last year makes me realize how quickly time passes. so much has happened for us this year! just a few highlights:

*fourth wedding anniversary; wedding anniversaries are more important to me than any other event (other than my kids' birthdays). a day that should be honored and cherished, as you celebrate your sacred union as man and wife

*Justin graduated his training and joined up with his team; that has been a huge learning experience for us both, and an opportunity for growth individually and as a couple/family

*Avery turned four! birthdays are important. Ave is getting so big and smart!! more beautiful every day

*Brooklynn's birth in May; she has brought us SO much joy! Brooklynn Mae is the sweetest baby I have ever known; she has a smile for everyone she lays eyes on

*we took a vacation to Hawaii! that was fun!

*I ran my first half marathon, on my 24th birthday.  that was a wonderful experience, and has me daydreaming of my first full marathon in June!

*Justin turned 30; a new decade for him. I am so thankful for this man. so thankful. and excited for many more birthdays!

the year 2012 has been a year of so many changes for us. our family of three became a family of four. we have all been adjusting and learning. Justin's job has had him in and out a lot; once again, adjusting and changing. this year has been a really tough one for me, as you all know. but it has had so many bright and precious moments.

2013 is going to be another year of changes for us. we will be tackling our first deployment as a family. that is the greatest challenge that we will face this year. I just pray that through all of the difficulties I am able to find joy; to show Christ to others; to get through it all with grace and integrity. I can't say that I am looking forward to 2013's arrival. I can't say that I am excited about it or glad it's here. but I will say that I'm going to try my darndest to make it a year to remember; a year of firsts, new experiences; a year of success and accomplishment. I pray that this year God uses all of the separation from my husband to bring us even closer together, and to draw me closer to Christ.

and with that I'll end with a scripture; one of my favorites :)

 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11


Friday, December 14, 2012

silent night

sometimes i just feel like being quiet. i don't feel like talking or laughing. just being silent. i don't talk a lot as it is, but when these moods strike i prefer to just be alone...or to listen to others. or to listen to God. sometimes i think he wants us to feel this way; so that we will just listen to him; bask in his presence; feel him. he wants us to feel his love.

today i felt like being quiet. i have been feeling sad and heavy and drained, so today i felt like just sitting and being silent and still. thankfully a sweet friend offered to keep the girls today, so i was able to treat myself to a pedicure. i sat in that massage chair and got my feet worked on while listening to asian chatter. and i didn't have to say a word. i didn't have to make small talk. i wasn't asked how i'm doing. no one asked me to do anything for them. it was lovely. it was perfect. it was definitely therapeutic.

when i heard the news of the school shooting in connecticut today, it just broke my heart. and my heart breaks still. for the families who are spending this holiday season in shock, grief, and devastation. for the gifts under the trees that will never be unwrapped. for the homes that are now void of childlike laughter and chatter. i cannot bear the thought... it makes me cry. my heart is so heavy and grieved for these families.

but also for the precious children who experienced such trauma in a time that is supposed to be filled with joy and awe. they went into that school innocent precious children. they came out scarred, frightened, traumatized. their innocence was stripped away from them today. they were subjected to images, sounds, and emotions that a child cannot possibly comprehend. it's just not fair. they're children. they should have had to witness no such thing. no one ever should. my heart breaks for them as they face difficult days ahead.

i can't imagine. i have no words.

the only thing i know to do is pray. i am so thankful that God is merciful. he is the peace giver, the heart mender. he knows what those families are feeling, and he's there to guide them through this impossible time of their lives. he's the only one who can. i pray that they all turn to him for guidance. i pray that somehow they find peace. i pray that he will hear their hearts when they seem to have no words.. i pray that they will feel his love.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

strength

some days are just harder than others. lately they're more often than not, but i'm making it..

i may not look like a strong person right now. i certainly don't feel like one. but strength looks a little different sometimes. to keep moving forward is strength. to smile and play with my kids, right now takes a lot of strength. to try to make this holiday season fun has taken a lot of strength. to homeschool avery while my heart is just sad, takes a lot of strength. to make learning fun and creative takes a lot of strength, when your head is filled with thoughts of missing your husband. to trust in God when you don't feel him close takes a lot of strength, too. to get out of bed when you just want to stay under the covers; to put on make up and real clothes when you want to stay in your pajamas; to get out of the house when you only want to sit on the couch; all of it takes such strength. to stay here and live this way takes strength. to leave would be the eas(ier) thing to do. but it's impossible. it's not an option. leaving is never an option. i would rather have justin only sometimes than not at all. that is strength. that is love.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

bah humbug

i do not like being a weak person. and right now that's what i feel like i am, a weak person. my goal is always to make life easier for justin so that he can do his job, and for our girls so that they can be kids and enjoy life. i have always tried so hard to hide from justin how hard all of this is for me, and i have always succeeded at doing so i believe...until now. i just hate that he knows i'm having a hard time. i hate it. i try to hide it but he hears it in my voice. 

you know, i never realized how difficult it would be to be away from your spouse during the holiday season. i always heard that the holidays can be a difficult time for people, but i never really thought much about that until this year. justin has been in and out for two months. i have been struggling through this holiday season on my own with the girls. it hasn't been easy...

friday we went to see santa with a few friends, and the parade afterwards. one minute avery was trying to climb a huge tree, i looked away for five seconds, looked back and she was gone. just gone. of course i panicked. completely panicked. i know i appeared calm on the outside, but on the inside it was like a tornado of worry, fear, and the worst thoughts you could imagine. i wanted to throw brooklynn in the grass and take off running until i found her. but of course i didn't do that. i enlisted the help of a few nearby friends to help scan the area. after walking a few yards i spotted her. talk about relief... disaster.

tonight we decided to head down to the bay and watch the boat parade and fireworks. first of all, i got the times mixed up. apparently the fireworks were later than i thought, so ave and i were disappointed about that. my bad on that one. then we're waiting on the parade to start...i'm trying to skype with my mom and sisters; ave is wandering around making me nervous i'll lose her (again); brooklynn is wailing at the top of her lungs; then ave tells me she has to pee, of course. i feel so stressed out. i want to go home. that makes avery cry, because she wants to watch the parade. now i have two crying girls. ahhhhh!! finally brooklynn calms down so we watch the first half of the parade. avery is satisfied with that and we head home. disaster.

not to mention...Christmas is a time for family and fun and being together. i have none of my family here. i have no husband here. when i see families happy together i feel resentment and bitterness. i don't mean to. i know it's ugly. i can't help it.

i have tried so hard to make it a fun holiday season for the girls. mostly for avery. but i feel like i've failed. everything i try to do ends badly. i don't want it to be Christmas anymore. i have no Christmas spirit, no matter how many carols i listen to or lights i hang up or presents i wrap. i just want it to be over...

Friday, December 7, 2012

Tormented Heart

Sometimes I miss you so much
It makes my heart literally ache
My eyes are tired
Red and swollen from tears of sadness
Tears of stress
Tears of exhaustion
Worry has etched itself onto my face
I don't know how this can go on
My emotions are all over the place
Sometimes up, sometimes down
But mostly down
I no longer feel excitement
Or joy
Or peace
Or hope
My heart cannot rest
Only when I look at our daughters
Do I feel an ounce of happiness
They keep me going
When I just want to stop
You're just a ghost in our home
Sometimes here, sometimes gone
But mostly gone
I can't feel joy when I look at you
Or hope
Or peace
Because it's too hard on my heart
I know you'll be leaving again
Leaving me
Over and over again
It never ends
And that makes me tired
And sad

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

lonely, not alone

i just...really am struggling. i hate to sound like a broken record. but this is my life. this is what's happening. it's just hard. every single day is a struggle right now. when i wake up i feel like i have nothing to look forward to. when i go to bed, it is always with a heavy heart. always...

i know it must sound like i'm just sitting here wallowing in my own misery over here. but i'm not. i really am trying. i am getting out of the house. i'm plastering on a smile. i'm exercising. i'm trying to spend time in the Word. i'm turning on my good music. i'm doing all the things i always do. but on the inside my heart is just crushed. demolished. broken. i just want my husband home. i want my daughters to have their dad be an active part of their lives. constantly answering the question of "will i see daddy tomorrow?" with a "no" is just really, really difficult. it's hard for me to picture the next four years of our lives being like this. but i know they will be. i'm trying to accept it. i'm trying.

you know, i think there's a big misconception out there that christians don't struggle. you love God, you have him on your side, so life is easy right? WRONG. i think that christians often struggle more, because when you're doing the things that God wants you to do, living the life that he has for you...that's what the devil hates. that's when he is going to come at you the hardest. i think there are high standards set for christians. we believe in God, so we must be perfect like him too right? people forget that christians, too, are human. human. humans make mistakes. we mess stuff up that shouldn't be messed up. we complicate things with our emotions, our egos, our selfishness.

no, christians struggle. i am a living example of that (thanks, Lord. ha.). the thing is, we have hope. we cling to the promise that we do have God on our side. and while that doesn't mean things will be easy--he never promised us life would be easy did he?--it does mean that he will guide us through it. he will never leave us, even when we feel isolated and alone. he will get us through it. i'm not doing any of this alone. i also have the promise that all i go through is for my own good. all of this--the separation from my husband, the loneliness and depression--it's not in vain. it is molding me into a godly woman of strength and character. it's preparing me to one day be  a support to someone in the same shoes i now bear. from these trials i will gain wisdom, insight, integrity. Romans 8:28 says "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." this is the promise i have to cling to. praise God!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

roller coaster

annnd he's gone again...

today is Justin's 30th birthday. I had planned to surprise him with a horseback riding adventure, he's been wanting to do that for a while. but instead we had to drop him off at the base at 8:45 this morning so he could catch a flight across the country. not exactly what I had planned...

I keep waiting on all this to get easier. everyone tells me it gets easier. but it's not getting easier at all. each time I have to say goodbye to my husband it is just as difficult as it was the time before that. the day he leaves I fall into some really dark feelings. I feel so depressed; lonely; hopeless; heartbroken. I cry that whole day. everything makes me cry. I try not to. but I can't help it. I just can't. I try to smile, to hold back the tears, to feel positive. I try to be strong.

 but then I started thinking...maybe all of that isn't really being strong. maybe sometimes strength looks a little different. maybe strength is when you cry and feel depressed and go on living anyway. maybe strength is just in pulling yourself out of bed the morning after you soaked your pillow with tears. maybe strength isn't in hiding the tears. maybe strength is staying here by my husband's side, while rarely ever actually at his side, when it would just be easier to walk away from it all. maybe to be strong is to face your feelings, give into them a little, then move forward. strength is moving forward. I'm moving forward at least. one hour, one day at a time. not always because I want to, but because I have to.

for the last three years almost the navy has just put me on this incredibly ridiculous emotional roller coaster. the last year things were great. Justin was home. he was home with me for a year, I didn't have to worry about him going anywhere. I knew this day would come, where we'd have to get back into the swing of things. I knew it would be hard. I dreaded it. and now here we are. I am riding this roller coaster that I just want so desperately to climb out of, but instead of slowing down to let me off it only gets faster, taking crazy twists and turns that make me want off even more...

but there's no escaping this roller coaster. this roller coaster is our life now. and I love Justin so much that I'm willing to keep on riding, even when I so desperately want off.