Tuesday, May 31, 2011

And Life Goes On

So I woke up this morning and it was a new day.  Now that may not be all that newsworthy, but my point is this ... life goes on and what a blessing that is.

Four of my girls are in dance and this is recital week.  Therefore we had rehearsals for 6 dances today!!  Yes, not much time to dwell on yesterday, right?!  We have a show tomorrow and then rehearsals again Thursday and a show Thursday and then a final show on Friday.  I think I might sleep in until 6 Saturday morning!  :)

Okay, for those of you who might be thinking my life is completely miserable.  It's not.  It is hard to have Richard away.  I think if you ask any military wife, they'll each have different struggles to share with you.  Richard and I often talk about how the separation hits you when you truly least expect it.  I know that sounds cliche, but it's true.  And that said, for the most part life is good and very bearable.  I don't sit around and cry all day:).  For one, I'm too busy!  And also, I am very proud of Richard and find it easy to "stand behind him" and after all these years, I will say that I'm "used" to this.   That said  I have to tell you that probably the hardest thing for me to process is how much of life Richard and I have lived separately.  I think that when I'm around Richard after his being gone just seeing his face and recognizing that he recognizes that there we have one life and he has another ... that is really difficult for me to just shake off.  You spend your whole life waiting to meet that special someone and then you do and then you never get to see them.  Just sort of something I guess I never really planned on:).

I have a great life and am very blessed.
I miss Richard everyday.  That man is so crazy in love with Jesus it ain't funny.  He can make me furious:), but he can make me laugh like no one I've ever met.  He knows me to my core and other than hanging pictures, there's really nothing I don't enjoy doing with him.  So yes, I miss him when he's gone.  But once the goodbyes are over, I'm okay.  Really, I am.

I don't really have any girlfriends here in GA.  So this is where I bring my coffee and get things off my mind.  I go to the gym or for a run to de-stress.  I come here to get a grip I guess you could say.  This is my reality check.  This is where I want to scream and complain, but where I am held accountable.

Some days are hard and some just hard to come to terms with.  But God is always good and as one new friend recently reminded me, His grace is sufficient.

This is not my life to live for me, but for the glory of God.

As crazy as it may sound, this blog is a terrific reminder of me to do that.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Six Again

The photo above was the trunk of my van about three and a half hours ago.  I remember when Richard emailed me years ago from S.Korea and informed me of this new bag he had purchased and gotten all "suped up" to his liking.  Oh this bag!!  What I would do to still have it in my trunk right now.  What I would do to be able to sit on the couch tonight and watch one of the many old war movies Richard dvr'd for us even though he knew he'd not be here to watch them.

It is just the six of us here at 57 again.

I have no words.  Only lumps in my throat and tears in my eyes.  Yes, it's tough being a single momma to five girls, but honestly, I just miss sharing life with my best friend.  I'm me when Richard's gone, but I'm not the best me.  And I'm certainly not all me.

Tomorrow will be better, but tonight is going to be hard.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  Philippians 4.13

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Girls of Summer

A new slip n slide, an old baby pool, water guns and five sweet girls ... yes, the girls of summer are back ... at least at 57.  
What a fun day just being a family!
Enjoy the photos ... I've got to go finish getting ready for a very rare hot date at Top Spice with my soldier:).

Saturday, May 28, 2011

He's Back!

Richard was able to get an extra day off for the weekend.
The girls were clueless and are enjoying every minute!
It's funny how when it is just the six of us we seem so incomplete.
Super nice to be the seven of us again.

Being that it is Memorial Day weekend, I can't help but count the blessing of his presence all the more.

Remembering all of those who've made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as those they've left behind.
May they never ever be forgotten.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

God is Good

"Praise to the Lord who o'er all things so wondrously reigneth ...
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!"

It is easy to sing God's praises when the days are good and filled with joy.  But how often do we forget and even struggle to praise Him when the days are long and end in frustration?  
I almost forgot tonight, but my soul wouldn't let me.  

I have felt almost constantly that I am failing as a mom.  
Maybe being a single parent of five has a little something to do with that:).  
Richard likes to remind me, though, of how the girls are smiling and draw pictures of happy things, therefore I can't possibly be ruining their lives completely.  
Um, hmmm, thanks Richard!  (I think ...) 
No, he's right. 
When I found these images tonight, I was reminded instantly how God is bigger than I am and how He is sustaining me (and them) 100%.  

To Him be the glory.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Deployment and Dancing

One month is behind us ... roughly 17 more to go.
How do I survive these days, you ask?  If I said by the grace of God would you think I was being trite?  I hope not.  It truly is by God's grace alone that I get out of bed each morning, wash my hair, brush my teeth and keep putting one foot in front of the other.  It's not always easy.  In fact this time around, it's not been easy at all.  Forget taking it one day at a time.  When I say one foot in front of the other, that's exactly what I mean.  Richard's been home off and on, but bottom line, only 2 years out of the last 8.  I think it is safe to say that my motivation level this time around has not been as HOOAH as many would expect it to be.  And that's okay.  I totally support Richard and the mission and admire the sacrifice and hard work of all in our Armed Forces.  So I'm really not all that concerned with what some might think of my "weakness" this go around.  Anyway, the point of all of this ... or the prompting of this post is because I've seen so much come my way in regards to "how do I make it through this deployment."  I always want to say, well, if you really want to know, it's just going to be hard.  But I refrain as I know while it may be true, that isn't the most encouraging response:).  What I've learned ... wait, what I know and what I'm trying to learn (i.e. transfer from head to heart) is that it is a blessing to be married.  Two sinners in love, made one, is one of the most amazing gifts God can give us.  If we didn't struggle with the separation, we probably wouldn't enjoy the union.  And likewise, if we didn't care about the union, the reunion stressors wouldn't be so bad because there wouldn't be that desire to reconnect and we'd just keep on doing on our thing once the deployment was over.  POINT, deployment is hard.  You've got to yes, keep yourself busy, but don't miss out on life just because your husband is gone.  That to me is probably the greatest challenge.  I feel like if I didn't have the girls I could just sort of "find something to do" until Richard returns.  But with five under my wing, I can't really get away with that.  Our life continues.  And I am thankful.  The girls keep me getting out of bed.  They keep my busy in a meaningful way and they keep me on my knees.  I worry about them being raised not only by just one parent, but by that one parent being ME. But I'm learning to listen to God in new ways and I'm learning that forgiveness and grace are truly deeper than I once knew them to be.  

I have five girls and they are all really, really different in almost every single way.  So much has changed over the years as we've moved from house to house, state to state and as the size of our family has increased.  But one thing has always remained a constant ... little girls dancing to music after dinner.  
Tonight Olivia wanted me to put on Tangled.  As her sweet little two year old self danced and sang, I just snapped away with my phone and took deep breaths so that the tears would not start flowing (I might be a hard Army Wife, but I'm still pretty sappy) and I just enjoyed the blessing of the assurance that God continually provides for more than our daily needs and just wants us to trust Him and rest in His word.  For me, seeing a familiar sight with a new little one was a perfect reminder of this.  For me it was how I got through another night without Richard by my side.  

Deployments are hard, sometimes more than others, but hard none the less.  Do what you need to get through them, but keep your eyes on Jesus and remember that you are here for a purpose.  Don't miss out on that just because your spouse is gone.  
Give thanks that you have someone to miss. 
What a blessing that is.

There's a balance there ... a balance between depression and stoicism.  Finding the balance is a daily challenge.  I am thankful for a God who is there to lead me as I, a seasoned Army Wife, try to find it.
May His radiance be evident in my life.