Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Deployment Revisited

Photo credit Laura Paxton
I thought I had this Navy Wife thing down.
After all, we've been working at this thing for almost 15 years.
I *SHOULD* have it down, right?
I've been an Ombudsman.

My lovely artwork
We've done sea duty.
We've done independent duty.
We've done an air command.
We've done a year of geo-bachelor time.
We've PCS'd three times...prep is underway for #4.
We have lived in 7 different houses. In 4 states. Plus a villa in another country.
We are WELL acquainted with Tricare, the Commissary, the NEX, and base housing.

And yet...

We've done deployments (technically) twice.
That geo-bachelor time? It could have been considered a deployment.
But in technical terms, we've only done TWO deployments.
In 15 years.  For a total of 10 months apart.  (Plus 12 months of "geo-bachelor" fun.)

A LOT of other military people would consider us lucky.
After all, during those 15 years others did multiple back-to-back grueling 12-18 month stints in the desert.
Yes, we have been fortunate.

And yet...

I do NOT consider myself "lucky" in any form of that term.
Do not misunderstand me.
Every step of every deployment is HARD.
From beginning to end.
Cars break down.
People get sick.
Children (and moms staying home with children) break bones.
Washers, dryers, and windshields break.
Air conditioners quit working.  In August.
Hurricanes and tropical storms blow through...leaving branches broken, and power off, and roads flooded.
Life seems overwhelming.

And yet...

Photo credit Laura Paxton
Despite the overwhelmingness of life,
Despite the financial hardships,
Despite sickness, and loneliness, and fear,
Despite depression, and anxiety,
Despite trials and temptations...
Despite it all...

Photo credit Jimmy Sadler
I still love this lifestyle.
I love the pomp and circumstance.
I love the overwhelming feeling of pride in my husband and the job he does and the country he represents.
I love the many places we have lived.
I love the anticipation of homecoming.
I love the feel of another new adventure in front of us.....

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Another portion of my life...BOOKS!

Over the years, I have had quite a few things as foci in my life.
I have 6 children who call me mom.
I have an amazing husband.
I have been a pastor's wife.
I have been a Navy wife.
I have focussed on childbirth, child rearing, child abuse, child growth and development, nursing advocacy, immunization education, homeschooling, missions, and church ministries.
I have worked in retail, construction, medical transcription, and medical supplies.
I have volunteered as a ministry leader with women, with children, with military families.
I have a degree in Bible, and a degree in Counseling.

If you come into my house, you will see books EVERYWHERE.
Kids' books. And globe. 

Overflowing bookshelves.
With a LARGE variety of books.
Kids' books.
Counseling books.
Theology books (Jason has two degrees in theology).

Yes, that is a dog leash on the top...

Books by Jason's favorite author (Chuck Swindoll!)
Books I PLAN to read.
Books I already read.
Books I have kept for reference.
Books I want to pass on to my children.
Books I keep for others to read.

This shelf includes women's
devotionals, birth, vaccine,
women's health, children's
health, yearbooks, theology,
hymnals, a few counseling
books, some self-help...

Books are a weakness of mine.
Books are what I buy when Jason is deployed.
(Well, I also buy itty-bitty dogs...)
I have a love-affair with books.
(BTW, this is less than half of the books in my house!)

Getting rid of books is painful.  They are friends.  Companions.  Co-workers.  Frankly, I struggle with feeling more attached to some of my books than I do to people I have had in my life for years.  So, as we start getting ready for another move (Thank you, US Navy!), I find myself going through the painful process of pruning books from my library.

Maybe (hopefully!!) someday I will have a room devoted to being my library.  Meanwhile, I am trying to rehome as many of my much-loved books as I can bear to part with....

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Things I miss about Blogging

I have done a terrible job over the past few years of keeping my blog up-to-date.  Being a full-time student, mom, military wife, pastor's wife, and working part-time have all played a part in my lapse.  In addition, writing for ME and for others to read has not been as high of a priority as writing for grades in school has been much more pressing.  

I miss writing.  
I miss seeing words on paper.
I miss creative expression of my thoughts.  
I miss interacting with others over the thoughts coming out of my head.  
I miss the processing that happens as the words trip over themselves to make their way onto the page.  
I miss being able to go back and read what was going on in my head during those times when the words force their way out.  

So, I am trying to release the dammed-up words.  
I am attempting to get back into the habit of weekly and perhaps sometimes daily interactions here.  
I look forward to the way letting the words out helps to shape more words as they make their way out of my head.  

Monday, May 12, 2014


I am SO VERY HAPPY to have finished with my Master's Degree!  Now on to other finding a job, and getting licensed, and paying bills, and cleaning my house.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Another Milestone

My life has for many years revolved around my children's milestones.  

Rolling over.
Teeth coming out. 
Learning to read.
Learning about friends.
First boyfriend/girlfriend.
First breakup.

Exhaustion. For me.  

Now Jason and I are hitting some milestones of our own.  

Coming up in May I graduate with a Masters in Counseling...and maybe at that point I can get back to having a life outside of the textbooks.  Hopefully.  

Because I'm exhausted.  And life doesn't slow down so I can sleep....

Hoping for a nap soon....


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

He's still workin' on me... make me what I ought to be.

It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars,

the sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.

How loving and patient He must be!

He's still workin' on me.

There really ought to be a sign upon my heart, "don't judge me yet, there's an unfinished part."

But I'll be perfect just according to His plan, fashioned by the Master's loving hand!

In the mirror of His Word reflections that I see
Make me wonder why He never gave up on me.
He loves me as I am and helps me when I pray
Remember He's the Potter, I'm the clay.

By Joel Hemphill

This little song that many of us remember from childhood really expresses where I am today.  At forty-something, I am STILL a work-in-progress.  I still have my issues, my foibles, my broken parts, hurts old and new...and God IS still working on me.  For this I am grateful.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Movie Night

Tonight was movie night in the Paxton home.  EVERY Friday night is movie night.  Lately, we have been on an old-movie-kick, and this week was no exception.  We had the chance to introduce a friend to the classic (30 years old is Classic?!?) War Games.  We got to listen to our children critique the 1980s version of computers (seriously, my iPhone has more computing power than that whole room....), and eat yummy pizza from Papa Murphy's.  And now the kids are headed to bed, and we are sitting up watching The Legend of Zorro, and waiting for Jon to get home from the Friday night football game.

G'night, all!