Wednesday, August 25, 2010

June 2008

I am not a talker. I am a writer. That way I get my words straight and manage to say what I mean more often. This is supposed to be a devotional but it is more just some things I wanted to tell you.

You know you are very special to me. You are my other daughter and I love you very much. I wanted to give you some things to think about, as you get ready to get on with your life as a wife.

You are not just a newlywed. You are a military spouse. This puts you in a unique position. You will face hardships and joys that other wives might not. You are one of a select group that has unique qualifications for this position because you have also been a military child. You have moved, lived on bases and remote areas both here, and abroad. You learned from your mother as you watched her do the things you will do now.

Here are some things to remember.

It is hard for any newlywed to be away from Mom and Dad and start their own home. Let's face it, married or single, it is difficult to always handle things on your own. Add in moving to another country and the difficulty multiplies. This is where you and Ragan will grow by working as a team. You can't always pick up the phone or drive by home to ask for advice and neither can Ragan, so depend on each other. But do ask for help when you need too.

Remember that you set the tone for your home. If you are content and have joy it will spread to those around you. You will not always be happy, you will not always feel cheerful but you can choose how you react to those feelings. A husband's bad day at work can sometimes be turned completely around by our actions when they get home. I know from experience that it can also get worse if we reacted badly.
Chose right over easy. It is easier to sleep in than to go to worship. It is easier to argue than admit you were wrong. It is easier to go with the flow than to stand up for what you believe. It is not easy to sit alone and not be angry when your husband is deployed, or to be gracious and handle things when the "I'll be home in 15 minutes turns to an hour", to deal with backed up toilets, broken cars, sick children or the millions of other things that get thrown our way when we are alone. It is not easy to comfort someone who is grieving when you are worried about your own husband. Help those around you. This can be hard at times but remember.. 2 Thessalonians 3:13 But you, brothers and sisters, never become tired of doing good. Remember that doing the right thing is often the hardest but also the most rewarding choice.

Live everyday like Ragan is deploying tomorrow. Don't waste time on silly arguments or get bogged down with day to day life. Cherish every minute. Treat every day as a gift from God and don't waste any of them. They pass quicker than you could ever imagine.

Don't fall in love with things. Can you imagine if Abraham told Sarah, "Honey we got orders." and Sarah had to pack up some of our homes! Matthew 6:20 says. "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal." Please note that the breaking can also apply to our military movers. This is something I struggle with daily. Do yourself a big favor and learn it early.

Be flexible, because as you know Uncle Sam isn't. Windows and rooms are never the same size as the last place. Orders are late or they are changed. Babies, movers, and the cable installation people come when they are ready regardless of what we have to do or where we want to be. Remember God is good and meets our needs. He knows what is best for us. The assignment or housing area we wanted could have been a disaster and that base we dreaded so much going to could just be where we make a lifelong friend. Philippians 4:19 says: And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. This is a verse you should hide in your heart.

Serve God above all. Where we go in life and what successes we have are temporary. Where we spend eternity and who goes with us is of the most importance. Philippians 3:20 says, But our homeland is in heaven, and we are waiting for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, to come from heaven. Remember, our home is Heaven, but temporarily: Home is where the Air Force sends you!

Everyday of your life together remember that God, your family and your friends, loves you both. I pray that you will have a wonderful adventure as you head through life toward home.
June 2008
Learning About Life
We want to protect the ones we love. Our mate, our children, our friends. It doesn't always work that way. Part of life is pain, for them and for us.
In order to teach our children to love, we are forced to expose them to them to the world. We encourage them to learn new things, to make friends, Knowledge is power but that knowledge comes with a price. The price is innocence lost. They must learn that not everyone is what they appear to be and that not everyone means it when they say they are your friend. The joy of friendship is often mixed up with betrayal, deceit, and immaturity, and yet there is still the joy and the love. We pray that for every friend that proves untrue there is another who proves that friendship and love are worth the investment. As parents, we pray that even if the pain remains as a memory it does not leave a scar.
Our goal is to teach our children to love. To come to the understanding that it is worth it. Even when it hurts, even when we are rejected, even when it doesn't seem worth the effort to try. We must teach them that God loved us so we ought to love each other, not just when we're nice, not just when we're pretty, not just when we are powerful or popular, but when we are bumpy and grumpy and awkward, too.
But still, we protect those we love. We teach them to love but not to be abused, not be used, not to be a doormat. We teach them to make the effort but to know when to walk away. We give them the knowledge of self-worth and the confidence of knowing they are loved. And we hurt with them and for them and love them...always.
Moving all my old posts from Myspace......


I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas. On one hand, I love Christmas and cannot wait for it to come. However, the other part of me dreads Christmas and wishes we could stall it for as long as possible.

I love all the beautiful meanings associated with Christmas. Whether you celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday or just as a time to show love to the people in your life, it brings out the good in us. People wish each other well and take time to remember and catch up with those they care for and those who are less fortunate.

It can also bring out the bad in us. I hate the greed that comes with the season. Whether it is about profits or who has the most packages or biggest toys, it is ugly. Regardless of your motivation for celebration: God sent his Son to save us, Santa bringing presents to good little girls and boys, or both, It is about giving not getting. Greed does not profit us. It makes us less than we could be.

I often become frustrated at Christmas. I don't like to say what I want but I want to know what the people I love want. I want Christmasy food but don't always want to put out the effort involved. I want to decorate but really do not like to undecorate. I don't want the stress and the aggravation and the discord that comes with large holidays. Do you notice a theme here? This is my own kind of selfishness and greed.

As I am writing this, I realize that I don't really love/hate Christmas. I really do love it, I just wish it was all tidy and pretty and joy filled like a beautifully wrapped present. We all know that sometimes that is just not the case.

I wish Christmas did not show me so many of my flaws. I know what they are, but Christmas makes them stand out to me. I wish I mailed cards and packages on time and did not get irritated with shoppers, and cashiers, and Santas and bell ringers and I wish that I wanted inexpensive things or better yet, no things. I want to like to cook for my family and enjoy cleaning up when I 'm done. After all, who says all our "wants" have to be realistic?

The thing is, I'm not perfect. Who has been except Jesus? There are days when I love everything about Christmas and days I want to cry and call the whole season off. As far as I can see though, the good outweighs the bad by tons. And so, like most years, I start early. I shop. I just don't mail things on time. I play Christmas music way to early for my family, especially Afton. Dave humors me, sometimes Effie sings along and Afton slowly goes insane. I view this as training for when she is a mom and will often be driven insane by her children.

I decorate the day after Thanksgiving if I can and usually go to the crazy sales that day, too. I elbow through with everyone else and try to be cheery while I do it. Poor Dave hates Christmas shopping but he loves me so he goes along. His love is the best present he has ever given me.

For so many reasons, I keep right on loving Christmas. I have spent it at the beach in warm weather, with snow and cold, with all my family and with none of my family, with my husband and without. In all these situations, there were reasons to go on loving this holiday. Whether you are in the arms of those you love or clutching the phone as if by this you can pull them closer as you listen to their voice, their love is always around you. Love is what makes Christmas so special. Take away the presents and the decorations and all the other "things" and the love is still there. So to all of you reading this-I send you my love and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Blessed New Year.