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Saturday, March 31, 2012

This life is not a contest (oh and the newest care package!)

I've been reading a new devotional that I purchased specifically for this deployment.  Faith Deployed-Daily Encouragement for Military Wives By: Jocelyn Green.  I'm only about 6 days in so far but I love it!  If you are spiritually inclined and looking for a great devotional to deal with Military Life, I highly recommend this one.

Day 4 struck a note with me.  It was titled Comparing Trials.  One thing I've noticed and am often annoyed with in this lifestyle is that everything is a "pissing match".  Every other wife/significant other thinking that they have it worse, or that their Soldier has it worse.  Then they compare their trials, tribulations, and hardships.  Seriously?  Does our Military not all work to the bone (especially during deployments)?  Do they not all work together?  Do they not all have the same stresses and hardships?  Yes, they do!

We all face deployments, some more often than others.  But the point is that we all face them at some point.  My husband is currently on his second.  Aren't they all hard?  Yes!

Do some Soldiers have more ammenties than others?  More communication avenues at their fingertips than others?  Yes.  But we should not be knocking down the wives who do get more phone calls/emails/skype dates than we do.  It's not their fault, it just happens to be the circumstances.  Do some of our husbands have slightly harder, more demanding jobs?  Yes, but that does not give us the right to become bitter towards those who may "have it easier" so to speak.

The bottom line is we are all dealing with the same thing...deployment.  We are all dealing with taking on a double load at home.  We are all dealing with separation and everything that comes along with that.  So why can't we just be happy for our fellow sisters and be a shoulder for the ones who may be struggling a little more than others?

Jealousy is an ugly thing.  Our first deployment was very rough.  Communication was awful and care packages too an eternity to get down range.  But I tell you one thing, each time I was able to hear from him was a blessing.  It may not have been often and it may have been broken up, but it was a blessing nonetheless.

Back in the wars throughout history, families back home were lucky to get a letter every couple of months.  Think about that before you become resentful.  Be happy that you have the communication that you DO have!

Here are a few excerpts from the book I want to share.

"As I listened to her share with broken voice and many tears, I'm ashamed to admit I had no compassion for her whatsoever.  The first thing that jumped into my mind was, 'You call that bad?  Try being a Military wife!  We hardly ever get to live near our extended families.  We don't even live with our own husbands half the time!' "


"I carried my 'I have it worse than you' attitude home with me that day.  I snuggled up to it to make myself feel more virtuous or worthy somehow.  But the tighter I held on to it, the less Christ was able to use me. I used my own trials as something to be proud of.  What a ridiculous thing to boast about!"


"Proverbs 14:10 says, 'The heart knows it's own bitterness and a stranger does not share it's joy.' When I read that verse, it seems to tell me that each person's burden causes him or her a pain that should not be diminished just because someone else has it worse.  It is impossible and worthless to compare trials.  A truly humble person would have compassion and bear others' burdens no matter how they 'rank' next to my own."


"In Galations 6:2, Paul does not say, 'Bear one another's burdens only if you deem the burden of sufficient magnitude.  If it isn't a big deal to you, go ahead and let your sister in Christ figure it out on her own.  She'll get over it, 'We are to bear another's burdens.  Period!"


"Philippians 2:4-5 tells us, 'Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.  Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus."

So as I close the first part of this two part blog, my prayers is that we can all look out for each other.  Neither become jealous or bitter of another's circumstances but feel blessed for what we do have and reach out to those that are struggling.  The Army life should never be a "I have it worse than you do" scenario.  We are all here for the same purpose, so lets remember that. <3




Okay....so my goal this deployment is to spice up the care packages I send to my Soldier.  This one was all lovey dovey and I had a ton of fun with it.  I filled it with goodies, nothing too spectacular, but I wanted him to smile when he opened it up and know that I put a lot of love and thought into it.  It took forever, and I know that once he's emptied it's contents it will be burned (they have to burn all of their mail-envelopes, packaging, etc for security reasons) but it's still fun nonetheless.  I also bought heart shaped card stock and wrote random love notes on them and tossed them in there amongst the goodies.  Here's the pic's!






Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Mother's Work is Never Done

While I was doing my nightly chores (putting my house back together before my rugrats tear it all up again in the morning) I was reflecting on the words a sweet friend said to me.

How in the world do I do what I do every day.  Day in and day out?  Especially with a husband who is rarely around (and deployed at the moment)?  The answer...I HAVE NO CLUE!!

My boys wake up with the sun (sometimes before!) and my day starts.  Making their breakfast, getting them dressed and ready for the day (however we do have days where we stay in jammies all day!).  Then my 7 month old daughter is up and rearing to start her day.  Changing her diaper, getting her dressed, and making her breakfast.  Then I feed her, clean her up.  Of course before all this I have to let our two dogs outside and make sure they have fresh water.  Then I start on cleaning the kitchen, but not before I sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee!

During the day, I am preparing meals, doing laundry, answering a billion and one questions for my curious 4.5 year old, making phone calls, paying bills, keeping appointments, running errands, grocery shopping, preparing care packages for my Soldier, doing arts and crafts with the boys, playing with my kids, taking care of the dogs, bathing kids, putting them to bed, feeding the dogs, etc.  Once my kids are in bed I tackle the house.  I pick up, clean dishes, fold laundry, vacuum, clean the floors, the bathrooms, put the house back together again.

While doing all of this I am running two small home business, going to school for my Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice, our FRG Secretary, and the Village Deputy Mayor (for the on post housing village I live in).  I am not only the mother, but the fill in dad when my husband is answering the Army's call.  I'm 19 hours from our families and 17 hours from my best friend.

To be frank, I never thought of myself as anything special.  I mearly thought I was just doing my job as a wife and mother.  All of the above is what is to be expected, right?  I know I'm not alone.  I just go about my daily life with a smile on my face.  Truth is, I love my life.  While there are ups and down, good days and HORRIBLE days, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Would it be nice to be around family?  Would it be nice to have a helping hand once in a while?  Sure!!  But this is the life my husband and I chose.  With it comes many securities that I'm not ready to let go of.  So while I do have friends out there that look at me as some Super Woman, I am not.  I'm just an ordinary person.  I'm just a mother and a wife....who happens to have a husband/daddy in the Army.

I HAVE to live with this kind of perspective on life.  I spent the first couple years of my husbands career in the Army feeling sorry for myself.  We have, more often then not, been "out of sight, out of mind" when it comes to our family back home.  And due to that, I don't want to go back.  I refuse to live with that sadness in my heart and the bitterness.  This has been an emotional roller coaster of a ride for me the last several years but I've come to find my place, I've come to realize who I am.

I had often doubted myself and my capabilities as a mother and wife.  But I know that I am a damned good wife and mother!  But I also know that I do not "deserve" to be praised for it, nor to I expect to be held to any other standard than anyone else.

I guess I kind of got sidetracked here with my ramblings as I often do, but I just needed to jot all of this down while I had a few minutes to myself before I hit the shower and read my devotionals.

Stay tuned.  This weekend I should be blogging about our newest care packages we'll be sending out to daddy!!

xoxo

Monday, March 19, 2012

Deployment #2: Let the Roller Coaster begin.

My husband, my hero, has departed on his second tour to Afghanistan.  It's hard to put into words the emotions that you feel during this time.  While at the same time you just want to send them off already (the quicker they leave, the quicker they return...right?) you're heart feels as though it's being ripped out of your chest and stomped on.  You're emotionally spent, often times can't seem to catch your breath or ease the nausea in your gut.  Yet, you're heart flutters with pride at the same time.

This isn't our first rodeo though, so I feel as though I was emotionally prepared the best that I could be.  While my heart aches for my husband's presence here, I feel as though I'm adjusting and coping well (especially in comparison to last deployment).

I have several friends who are on this roller coaster with me, yet it's their first deployment.  My heart hurts so much to see them settling into depression and anxiety.  I know how they feel.  I did not cope well last deployment.  It was EXTREMELY rough on myself, my marriage and my family.  I was not in a good mental state, I had a serious lack of a steady support system, I lived off post, and had almost no friends at all.  I was bound and determined to jump out of my comfort zone this time.

Not only have I been involved with our FRG for nearly 4 years now, but I have also taken on the position of Deputy Mayor for the village I live in on post, enrolled my boys in sports throughout the summer, enrolled myself in full time college to earn my degree in Criminal Justice, joined a wonderful company selling Scentsy (holla!!), made new friends, etc.

The key to making it through deployment is embracing it!  Yes, we are without our husbands, yes they are in war (very real, very VERY scary), yes we are sexually deprived.  But does that define us?  Surely they would not want us suffering the entire time they are gone.

One of my favorite past times during deployment is coming up with fun and creative Care Package idea's.  Themed boxes, shopping for things to fill them, packaging them up, writing love notes, taking pictures, recording video's, and sending them off to my love down range.  Not only does this let them know that you love them more than ever but that you are constantly thinking of them.  I'm a worrier.  I wonder if he's eating and sleeping, if he's healthy or sick.  My way of taking care of my Soldier is by packaging up my love and sending it to him.

Ladies, it's okay to be sad and it's okay to cry.  It's sure as hell okay to have bad days now and again.  But join with me, lets stand strong, lock arms, and face this deployment in the same manner our Soldiers are.  Brave and Strong.  We will NOT be knocked down and we will not be defeated!

My home is always open.  Chick flick's, popcorn, wine, spa treatments, care package parties, gossiping, and crying together!  We can do this.  Our men need us to hold up the homefront, to keep it together, and to support them and love them.  So let's wipe our tears and start smiling.  Each new day is another day down, another day closer to painting welcome home signs!

Many hugs to all of my fellow deployment buddies!
xoxo

Here's my Easter package!  One of 3 boxes I'm sending in his first batch!