Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Help me say goodbye

There is nothing quite as painful as telling a family member goodbye.
Unless it is telling your child goodbye.

In the last six weeks, there have been losses.
Painful ones.
Friends have lost an aunt.
A mother.
A sister.
A daughter.
Among those I consider friends, there have been 4 deaths in those six weeks.

One in her 90s, one in her 40s, one in her 20s, and one only 3 years of age.

To old age, and dementia, and cancer, and drowning.

No matter how a life is lost, someone hurts over the absence of a loved one.

As I have mourned with my friends, so many things have swirled through my head.  I have regrets over things unable to be said.  I have the shared sorrow of a child whose life was cut short.  I have the sadness that accompanies any death attributable to any of the above diseases and accidents.

I also have a hopeful anticipation that I will see each of these beautiful people again...for each claimed the name of Jesus the Christ.  In this I find hope.  Because without that hope, I would be, of all people, most miserable.

For Jean, and Glenda, and Brittany, and Abby...I am looking forward to being reunited!

For the families, the pain is great...I'm praying for you!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Vicarious Tourist

My deployed husband gets to explore the world without me.

This week he is in South Korea.

Last week he was in Misawa, Japan.

So all I get is some lousy pictures....

...well, he said he also got some souvenirs, but I won't get to see those until he gets home...

I love seeing the world through the lens of my husband's camera!

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 things...like 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....