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Saturday, May 24, 2014

memorial day

today has been...weird. i feel like i could cry. i just keep thinking about all of these families who are missing someone. all of the kitchen tables with an empty chair. all of the children missing their fathers or mothers. all of the husbands and wives who know their spouse is never coming home. it breaks my heart.

and it especially hits home because someone i know very recently lost her husband. devastating.

i have been praying for these families off and on all day today. i can't really imagine a loss like that. i pray i never have to.

memorial day is about remembering. remembering those who have died for us. for me, it's personal. for me, it's about remembering all of the sacrifices MY family has made. Justin has missed SO MUCH. even as i type this, he's not here...gone on another training trip. emotionally and mentally, i have sacrificed so much. i think about the very beginning--boot camp--and how uncertain and depressed i was. i think about work ups and deployment. all of it was so hard. my husband has missed birthdays, anniversaries, holidays. he missed my first marathon and avery's first dance recital. and that is not going to end for us any time soon.

i wish i could say that i'm glad to do it. that the sacrifice is worth it. but sometimes i'm just not sure. when people thank me, i never know what to say. "you're welcome" doesn't feel right. "no problem" is just a lie. and "my pleasure" well, that's a lie, too. the truth is, i do this because i have to. it's what God has for us right now and who am i to fight that? but i'd be lying if i said there's not a part of me that wishes for something different. something easier.

i beg each of you to think about all of our military families. think about the heroes who gave all while fighting for our freedoms. pray for the families that they left behind.

John 15:13 -

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

treasured daughter

it recently occurred to me that my entire adulthood has been spent mothering young children. I got pregnant when I was barely 19. that was the beginning of motherhood for me, not even yet an adult at all. and now I'm 25, I've been doing this mom thing for 6 years. I've loved (almost) every minute of it, but sometimes I get selfish and think...what about me?

I never really had a chance to think about what I  wanted or needed. I've always put my little peoples' needs first. that's how we're told it should be. that's being a good mother. a responsible mother. but from deep in my soul comes a cry...what about me?!

I believe that as good mothers we are to put aside our own desires some of the time. the care of our children is to be our first priority. however, it's also important for us to maintain our own identity. i am a mother but i'm also a woman. I feel things, I dream things, I have desires and longings.

I became a mother at a very young age. too young. I wasn't ready. my identity became changing diapers and being a stay-at-home mom.

but God has been showing me that I am more than that. I am more than my past, more than my present. I am more than changing diapers and watching veggie tales. I love all of those things, I do, but that's not all there is to me. I am a person. a woman. a child of the Most High. I love running, being outside, and listening to the cello. I love to write. I enjoy good food. I am a dreamer of dreams, a loyal friend, a treasure to my Maker.

that brings tears to my eyes.

a treasure. wow. if we started to see ourselves as Christ sees us, how would that change who we are? He created me just as I am, flaws and all. I am so unique, there is no one on earth just like me. He has big plans for my life, shouldn't I have big plans too? shouldn't I dream big dreams?

the same goes for you. yes, you.

you're a mom. you're a woman. allow yourself to be someone apart from your kids. do things you enjoy, nurture that part of yourself that likes to dream and be creative. do that, and it will make you an even better mom. i promise :)

Friday, May 9, 2014

you know you're a military spouse if...

military spouse appreciation day!!! (we deserve a whole lot more than just one day, though, if you ask me ;) ).

i have been blessed to know so many incredibly strong and amazing women thanks to the navy. these women, including myself, have made so many sacrifices. i don't know how anyone does this without the help of God.

i put together a short list exposing some of the difficult things we go through...

you know you're a military spouse IF...

*you sometimes forget what it's like to live with your husband

*you often find yourself playing the role of mom AND dad

*you have a whole new appreciation for the fourth of july, memorial day, and veteran's day

*the american flag or anything camouflage bring tears to your eyes

*your heart is filled with unspeakable pride

*you sleep on the couch for weeks or months at a time because the bed feels too big and empty (true story; the entire deployment)

*the day your husband leaves for a trip, everything you look at makes you cry because it reminds you of him

*you have ever felt grief, pain, depression, sadness, worry, and loneliness

*you are filled with a sense of accomplishment and pride because all you've gone through

*you get a knot in your throat when the gear gets pulled out and your husband starts packing for ANOTHER trip

*you've spent countless birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays missing your other half

*you've felt slightly resentful and bitter when you saw families together while your man was gone serving our nation

*you barely have any space in your closet because of all the GEAR!

*your husband has more pairs of boots than all of your shoes put together

*you daydream about homecomings, planning what you will wear and how you'll fix your hair, and fantasize about that first kiss

*you have deeper friendships than you've ever had in your life because they've been there too and they totally get it