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Monday, September 19, 2016

overcoming disappointments

What do you do when life throws disappointments your way? When plans change, your husband has to leave for an unexpected work trip, your kids get a cold that seems never-ending, something breaks and costs you a lot of money? What do you do then? When you're crying hot tears of rage and you just feel like yelling at God and asking him why? Why can't you just make my life go my way?

How do you react?
What is your first thought upon hearing disappointing news?
What do you say?

My feelings towards the Navy and my husband's job are...complicated. On one hand, it's his job that brought us to beautiful southern California...that pays our bills...that has grown me so much as a person and wife...that has brought the most amazing friendships into my life. On the other hand, it's his job that is constantly taking my husband away from his family...that causes  me to live so much of life without my best friend...that is always, always changing my plans. I would say my feelings towards the Navy range from hate-fueled rage to awe-filled appreciation.

It's complicated.

One thing I do know...the Navy is always throwing disappointments my way. I mean, at least once a week something seems to come up that I was not planning on. I still react, because I'm human and I have emotions, but my reaction time has shortened over the years. I'm able now to move on faster and bring myself back to a place of peace. Usually I initially get really angry, thoughts of my hate for the military filling my mind. I have to go off by myself and cry and process. Then I can move into a place of prayer, telling God openly and honestly how I feel and what I think-- even though he already knows, voicing it helps me. After that I always have to remind myself of this verse:

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. Romans 8:28

 This is a verse I cling to. I constantly revisit it, reminding myself of its truth. Though my circumstances may really, really stink, I can rest in the promise that is contained in that verse. God is using the Navy to work good for me, for my husband, for our family. Knowing that makes it possible to move on with joyful expectation and renews my strength.

If you are facing disappointments in your life, I encourage you to keep this verse in front of you. Seek the Lord, be honest with him about your feelings-- he can handle all of your anger, frustration, and despair. He wants you to come to him with all of it. Then practice moving forward. Do whatever you need to in order to move on-- go for a walk, crank up some happy tunes, read some scripture, get crafty, take a hot bath. Remember that this too will pass and see disappointments as opportunities to grow.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Bloom & Grow

Since March, my husband has not been home longer than two weeks at a time. He's been gone, a lot, and we're all tired of it. Just exhausted, in every way. I feel myself slipping, losing the patience & stamina that I had when we first began this routine.

We're almost finished, praise Jesus, at least for a little while.

One of the things no one ever tells you when your husband decides to join the military is just how sick of it all you will get. No one tells you that you will cry because you're sick to death of doing all the chores. No one tells you that you'll get sick of sleeping by yourself or disciplining your kids or changing diapers or cooking or grocery shopping or paying bills or being the sole parent. No one tells you that you would rather gouge out your eyeballs than wash another dish or fold another piece of laundry. No one tells you that you will get sick of missing your best friend, or of seeing families together and feeling a pang of envy. No one told me.

For 6.5 years this has been our lives. Constant training trips, deployments, 12+ hour workdays for my husband. I would be lying if I told you that it's easy and fun and I love it. I would also be lying if I told you that I am always happy and joyful and patient and sweet with my kids.

I'm not.

One of the hardest things for me has been to accept graciously that this is where God has placed me, to serve with a thankful heart. I tend to look ahead to a life that is "better," "easier," "calmer." I like to plan and to know what's coming next. In my mind, I've already checked us out of the Navy. We're living somewhere green and spacious, in a home that we will never have to leave, with my husband who will also never have to leave. But only in my mind...

I'm trying. I'm trying to submit to this part of God's plan for my life and our family. I'd be lying if I said I'm not ready for something else.

Lord, help me to rest where you have  me. Help me to bloom & grow, here.