We are almost at the one month point for boots on the ground. Even Richard has commented that he will be so glad for that milestone to pass. I've not posted a lot here because I've had the gift of very little communication with Richard. Yes, that's right, I said gift. Something beautiful happens when communications via email, phone or FaceTime are gone. When they are gone, letters are written ... and it is a beautiful, sweet thing. And so with my focus of writing there, I haven't had time for a focus on writing here. And that's okay.
I finished Sara Horn's study, Tour of Duty, the day Richard deployed. Absolutely amazing study. I cannot praise it enough. If you are a military wife or if you are interested in serving or ministering to the military community, do this study. I need to devote a whole post to to it, but for now, I'll say I did not want to do the study, but I did and I don't think I've ever done a study or read any book that I scribbled notes on every single page as I did with this one. It was really that good. I'm now working my way through her God Strong book. I read it in the morning and save the Survival Sisters stories for night. As I finished one tonight I was struck by a blessing I totally missed.
Several friends have asked recently how the girls are doing with Richard gone. My response is always very nonchalant and basically, they don't like it when we have to say goodbye to him, but they are fine, this is their world and it's what they know. Well, lately I've sort of been thinking to myself, "Why don't they ask more about him? Why isn't my enthusiasm for sending him care packages and letters spreading to them? Why are they so unaffected by all of this?" I guess because they haven't seemed to miss a beat since he left, I haven't really spent a lot of time thinking about their hearts. I mean, of course, we've done a lot of special things to make this time a positive one, but really until others started asking, I just didn't really stop to think about how they were. So when I did, and I didn't see any signs of struggle or deep concern, I started struggling and having deep concern as to why they were not. (Such a classic mom moment!) But it hit me tonight ... totally by surprise that "Mary Katharine, they are fine because you are fine. God has blessed you with the strength you need and it's providing them with the strength they need." Now note, I'm not saying that it's been easy the last three and a half weeks (or the five and a half months prior to that) and I'm not saying there hasn't been an increase in behavior that is lacking self control:) ... and I'm certainly not saying that if we were really struggling that God would not be providing for us. What I'm saying is that God provided an amazing blessing and I almost missed it. And I am so thankful that I didn't.
It is only the third week and I just can't even begin to tell you how hard the next few months are going to be for all of us. I have never been so busy, or worked so hard in my life. I am tired. Bottom line, I am tired. But you know Richard and I were talking last night (our first real conversation) about how hugely God has provided for us in a "I'm one step ahead of you" sort of way in just these three weeks. Before we even knew that there was a need, the need was provided for. I've really been blown away by it. So I know God is present and I know He will provide. I'm gonna make it to the top of this mountain, evev if the incline is steep! What a gift to be reminded to keep my perspective in check; to keep my eyes on Jesus.
I love my girls and struggle so much with what they don't have ... with what I am unable to provide when their Daddy is away. But their perspective is so much better. Gracious God; sweet girls.
Another day down. Not a perfect day, but a good day. Thanking Him for the strength He provided me today and for the endurance He'll provide me with tomorrow.
One day at a time ...