(from Richard's homecoming November 09)
I also usually love this time of year because this has always been the time of year that Richard returns to us after a deployment. This time of year usually brings the busyness of a start of a new school year and all the preparations of that, along with renewed strength because "Daddy will be home in November." Richard has managed to defer several deployments since his return last November, and one just fell through based on the host country. So we have been blessed to have him home for almost a year now, and home for an entire summer. As I think about that, I am reminded of moving here and all of the adjustments that came with that. It has been such a different move, and I've had so many questions posed to me about it. Even just yesterday I had a conversation with a girl from church about it. It has been tough across the board, and I've not handled everything perfectly and hindsight has definitely proved 20/20. I will say that I am finally starting to feel a bit settled (about 6 months longer than usual) and I am going to miss so much about this place when we move. I knew our time here would be short, but still hoped for about a year longer than we are getting, and I've tried very hard to just dive into where God has placed us. It's been hard to be the outsider. And I know that many have moved frequently that are not military. I get that. I didn't grow up military and we moved quite a bit. So I don't consider my life unique in that way. But I will say, there is a degree of difficulty in moving to a new place, a HUGE area, a place that you are truly in the one percentile, having five children ... one approaching the teen years, one potty training and one not even crawling yet ... having your first home and learning how to manage that along with the gift of freedom from socialized medicine (a gift, but really something to get used to and not the easiest thing to figure out when you're used to everything being "assigned" to you) ... having a completely new kind of homeschooling environment to figure out (I would have never thought this would have been so tricky), not to mention having to adjust to a drastic increase in your cost of living expenses and then having your husband deploy and your mom almost die ... I'll just stop there.
So, I get the "you're not the only one who has ever moved before" statements. I really do. But honestly, the moving has been the easy part. The other crazy issues and zero escape and complete isolation (other than from fb, which is pathetically sad, I know) has been the hard part. Trying to "fit in" here, trying to not highlight "I'm an Army Wife" (because I DO know that other people move and have issues, too ... not just Army Wives), yet that is what I am and I both treasure it and am honored to be it. It is so sad to me that I've been so misunderstood and that many have thought that my friendship isn't real here and that when I move I won't care about them. It has been such a struggle and one that has just worn my already exhausted spirit out. I have felt so much competition, when I am probably the least competitive person I know. I've never been comfortable in situation where I am the primary source of interest, and I've failed miserably at handling that here.
Looking back on the year, I see how sin separates. My sin and other's sin. It is sad how when someone has a need, many times our first response is to have a comparable need that shifts the focus back to us rather than keeping it on the one who is in need, or basically tell people to "suck it up" because we've all been there. I am as guilty of this as anyone. And as I prepare for another school year and our last year here at 57, I am torn with emotions of excitement of getting pumpkins where we bought them last year, and putting our wreaths up on our windows like we did last year, while also having emotions of this is our last year to get pumpkins at such and such a place and I wish we could stay in this house forever and just keep building memories here. There are plenty imperfections at our church (and I would probably be more surprised if there weren't), but my girls love it there and Richard and I have met so many people that we are going to miss seeing on Sunday (and I have so many that I am truly going to miss throwing my arms around). So, yes, this year will be bittersweet indeed, but I'd rather it be bittersweet than me just be ready to move on. I wish more here could see that bittersweetness, rather than just thinking that I will move forward and never look back. I don't think any Army Wife can do that. We put roots down whether we want to or not and even when we don't try, and we find they are there when we feel the pains of them being ripped up when the moving truck pulls away.
I am thankful for the lessons learned the past 18 months. Yes, thankful ... even for the hard ones. Well, maybe especially thankful for the hard ones. It is tough to grow, but if we didn't grow we'd die. I am thankful for a God who cares for my life. I pray that I would be a better listener, a better encourager, a better wife, a better mom, a better daughter, a better sister and a better friend. I'm thankful for the past 18 months here at 57 and look forward to the 9-10 months that remain. (and who knows, if we don't sell our house the girls and I just might get our "wish" to stay here a bit longer, and while that would be nice, it really is our top choice to move with Richard:)!!)
Thank you to all of you who love me and my family unconditionally.
Thank you Kristin and Sheila for holding me accountable and being tremendous examples of godly women! I am absolutely spoiled to have you in my life.
I hope all of you are growing in your walk daily and giving thanks to God for providing for all of your needs ... even when what you think you need doesn't exactly line up with what He knows you need.
Blessings to you all and To God be the Glory.