Friday, July 24, 2009

Aliens and Strangers

Lately, Jason and I have been hurting with some friends who are struggling with their relationships as a direct result of separations imposed by the military. While marital difficulties are by no means limited to those in the military, statistics attest that those in the military have a higher rate of divorce.

I talk to military wives all over this country, and hear about multiple, back-to-back year-long (or longer) deployments, and how much they miss their husbands. They talk of making the most of every minute their husbands are home. They testify to children who do not remember their dad when he comes back from being gone for half of their little lives.

Those same wives get very frustrated with their civilian counterparts who are complaining of their husbands going away on a week-long business trip. They get tired of the attempted compliments of "I could never do that" or "I don't know how you do it."

Make no mistake. We did not get married planning to be separated for months on end. We did not plan to raise our children as single-married parents. We have our difficult days (and even weeks).

Yet, somehow, we dig deep and find reserves we never thought we had...and probably only have developed since entering this lifestyle. We make friends quickly at each new duty station (and probably frighten some of our non-military friends with the intensity of the need for those friendships to grow quickly). We find new churches and dig in deep, quickly, because we highly value our extended family in the local church. We KNOW where our strength comes from, and will do what it takes to stay plugged into our power source.

Yes, we know we are different from the mainstream of American life. We thrive in our own circles. But, please recognize that we are not super-human. We have our faults and weaknesses. We are going to have our down days. Please allow us those. And PLEASE, support us when we are trying above all else to hold our relationships together. Long-distance relationships are never easy. Long-distance relationships with the added stress of war and trying to maintain day-to-day life are immensely harder.
  • Please do NOT suggest that we divorce him, since he's never home anyway.
  • Please do NOT ask why he doesn't get a job where he can stay home. He has a good job that he loves (for the most part).
  • Please recognize that when he is sent somewhere, he does not usually have the option to tell his superiors "no"....not that he really wants to, anyway.
  • Please remember that we are also human and need a shoulder to cry on some days.
  • Please recognize that we are individuals, and as such have our own opinions about politics, the military, and life in general...though we may not share them with you.
If you want to be supportive of your friends, family and acquaintances who are in the military, or are married to someone in the military, be a friend. Recognize the differences. Be supportive when things are hard. Be available. Make a little effort to learn what their life is like. Invite them for dinner...they usually do not have family close by, and would relish the opportunity to get to know you. Chances are they will be some of the most loyal friends you will ever meet. And if not, at least you will have expanded your view of the world and blessed a military family.

Who knows but what you will entertain angels...we certainly already feel like strangers.

It is Friday...

My plans for today are limited to working, supervising the grounded teen, and heading to the base gym for an appointment concerning nutrition and exercise. My doctor has given me a new label, which I am trying to shake, if I can only lose 10 to 15 pounds in the 3 months. So, my project for the next 12 weeks. The problem is that some of this weight has become really good friends with the rest of me...having been hanging around here since my eldest was born, more than 15 years ago.

Oh, and we have our LAST softball games for the season 8:45 and 9:45 p.m. It's going to be a late night...and that's a hard time for me because that is when my blood sugar tries to tank on me. Then tomorrow, the kids are wanting to spend the day with some friends from church and Jason has drill.

Do you have plans for your weekend?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

It's Official....

...I have a teenager with a Learner's Permit. If you live anywhere near Virginia Beach, you might not want to be out on the roads.

Well, you might just avoid the roads in Virginia Beach because the drivers here are CRAZY. Really stinking crazy. The kind that make you wonder where they acquired their licenses.

And my daughter gets to learn to drive here. THAT is what scares me. Fortunately, I am NOT the one getting in the car with her to teach her. My husband, who, bless him, has nerves of steel, will be performing that sacrificial act. I can't. I remember when I was learning. I remember how anxious I get with Jason driving. I CAN'T do that to my daughter.

So, I will be spending a lot of time praying....because otherwise I will probably die of a heart attack!

Friday, July 17, 2009

I thought it was supposed to be warm outside!

I think our last make-up game for the softball season is going to be rescheduled because it is raining, thundering and lightening outside.

Our tribe is scattering...Frances is at her friend's house, Jason took Jon and his friend to trade in some an old PS2 and some games, Heather is spending the night with her friends who are twins. Then Jon is going to spend the night at his friend's house. That means we'll only have 3 children home for supper...

In the mean time, Jason and I are hoping to go out for breakfast with some friends that we haven't gotten to spend any time with lately. Frances' plans for tomorrow have been cancelled, so we have a wide-opened day ahead of us.

What are your plans for the weekend?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Summer time...

...and the kids are driving me crazy. They all are feeling severely deprived of their school friends. They MUST spend every available moment at their friends' homes, having sleep-overs, parties, play dates, time at the pool, playing on the slip-n-slides. THEY are having a BLAST this summer!

I am, however, fighting a losing battle with each and every one of them, every day. I am DETERMINED that we WILL get the house picked up and the bathrooms and kitchen cleaned, EVERY DAY. For some reason, those 13 loads of laundry per week (or more right now, since we're going through copious amounts of towels and bathing suits) do not wash or dry themselves, and certainly do not fold themselves up and walk up to their respective homes.

So, I get to be the mean mom. I grounded my eldest from her Facebook page (yeah, I finally gave in and let her have one...). They are all MINE until after lunch. Oh, and the oldest is taking an AP class this summer...she is going to be glad I am making her work on it now, instead of waiting until that last week before heading back to school!!

Meanwhile, I am in denial about how much summer we have school shopping here yet. I'm not even thinking about it...though I *do* have my lists hanging right there on my bulletin board above my desk...just ignoring it for now!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My husband writes...

Jason surprised me this week by starting his own blog... You can check him out at Chaps Insites
I'm so proud of you, honey! Can't wait to read what God's teaching you!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Some good things to think about...

Posted on my friend Trish's blog is a VERY good list of lessons learned...

My Odometer Rolled over Today

Go read it!!