Thursday, September 30, 2010

Music to remember

I've spent some time this evening (since my exam is over, there is no pressing work, and my next paper is due Sunday?) browsing through blogs I know and love, and used to read on a regular basis, way back before life became as insane as it is right now.

I was overjoyed to catch up with several "old friends" and see how life is treating them these days. I was also able to introduce my husband to one particularly special couple I have kept up with, off and on, for the last two years. Angie Smith and her husband Todd (of Selah) have seen God lead them through a lot in the last two years. When you have some time, go read the amazing story of their daughter, Audrey Caroline, and how God has used them since her birth and death. Angie's blog is called "Bring the Rain," named after MercyMe's song below, and it plays on her blog every time you open a new page. So listen...and then go visit Angie's blog. God has done (and is still doing) some amazing things there....

Sunday, September 19, 2010

BlogSharing

I just stumbled on this most incredible new (to me) blog, called Regarding War. Every one of the writers is attached to the military in some way, some as former active-duty military members, some as parents of military members, and some as spouses of military members. I haven't had a chance to read through everything, but this looks like a blog I am going to go back and check out again.

On life and studying

As I am sure you are aware by now, my life and stress level have accelerated recently. With starting grad school, I have had to make quite a few changes, including cutting back on my work level (paid work), and really revisiting my study habits. Doing that and preparing for my husband to be gone have made me realize how lazy I have gotten in recent years. That's not an easy or nice realization. I don't think of myself as lazy. Or, maybe I should say I don't *like* to think of myself as lazy.

I did not become lazy intentionally. I didn't think about it. This "just happened." I DID think consciously about allowing my husband to be more of the leader in our home. Unfortunately, I allowed that to go to such a degree that I have abdicated much more responsibility than I should have. UGH. Now, with him planning to be gone for a whole year, suddenly I find myself having to assume many more responsibilities than I have handled in the last several years. Paying bills. Filling the gas tanks. Making all of the day-to-day decisions for children's activities. For my own activities.

So now I find myself needing motivation that I haven't had for quite a while. Motivation to keep my house clean. Motivation to actually COOK meals. And plan meals. And self-care stuff...like taking showers on days that I don't have anywhere to go. And finding someone to talk to. And staying in fellowship with other believers. And maintaining my own spiritual feeding and growth. So many things that I have sadly neglected or pushed off on my husband.

I am SO glad that he has been able to be such a help to me. I am grateful for this opportunity for him...even though I am going to miss him A LOT. Because, let me tell you, that man of mine is amazing. He is a leader...in our home, our church, and in the Navy. I am very excited to watch him, and watch what God is doing in and through him, especially during this challenging next year.

But this post is about me, and my recent (re)discovery of my own laziness. And I am realizing that I need friends in my life on a (very) regular basis to help me in this process. I have also come to the conclusion that I don't have CLOSE personal friends. Oh, I have a LOT of "friends" - at church, in the Navy community, in our neighborhood, across the country in places we have lived in the past. Sadly, I don't know if I can call on most of them any time of the day, just to dump, or if I could ask for help with transportation problems. I KNOW I can count on most for emergencies...just because they're awesome like that. But, personally, I feel strange asking anyone for help.

See, I have these tapes that play in my head. Tapes that are recordings of things people have said to me, or in my hearing, in the past. Logical or not, those tapes play over and over, telling me all kinds of strange things. These tapes say that people will see me as "too needy," or that people will think poorly of me or think of me as a manipulator if I ask for help. I hear those tapes saying that I should just suck it up, and deal with it, because I was the one that chose to have so many children, so I should deal with the results of those choices. I still hear those tapes saying that only weaklings need counseling - - even though I KNOW BETTER. I hear those tapes blaming ME for everything from world over-population to the depletion of the ozone layer. See...I told you those tapes were not necessarily logical.

So, in the midst of an extremely challenging period in my life, I am realizing that I need to concentrate on developing some very good, deep friendships. And honestly, I don't know where to start. Because I think I have had *1* very good, very deep friendship as an adult (aside from my husband) - and that was/is a VERY long-distance friendship...and I need good, LOCAL friends...friends with skin on, right here, in my house, hanging out, coaxing me out of my house, and encouraging me in the dailiness of my life.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

New Glasses all around

Yesterday we were finally able to go pick up the last of the glasses and contacts, which we had been waiting for. Ahhhh...relief. We were SORELY in need of new glasses. Heather had broken hers at the end of the school year, in June, and hadn't been able to see since. Jon's were being held together with tape. Justin was missing a nose-piece, and his glasses were rubbing his poor little nose raw. Frances was wearing contacts that were OLD and needed to be thrown away. Leah needed her new reading glasses for school. And mine...well, my old glasses were OLD...over 6 years old, and so scratched I could barely see through them. It was time.

Now, we can all see....I feel a song coming on again...it has been heard repeatedly in our house this week....

"I can see clearly now, the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way..."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Of mice and men...

...or How the Military can mess with your plans.

First off, grad school is looking less and less overwhelming, as the days pass, and especially so after this last weekend of playing catch-up. I am no longer BEHIND, and finally feel like I actually might be able to keep up. Believe me, this is a BEAUTIFUL thing!!

Today is the second day of school for the kids for the year. Everyone survived their first day back, and mom and dad survived signing away the forests of Virginia...seriously, how many reams of paper did they just waste to send all of that crap home....and that was just for MY children. Oh, but my house was SO nice and quiet yesterday. I got a LOT accomplished!!

My work schedule has had to be adjusted, of late, to accommodate the addition of classes to the schedule. It also means (*ahem*) that my husband thinks he can just add things for me to do, on a whim, and because I work from home I *should* be able to just go and do, at his bidding. Yeah, that creates a little tension in our house from time to time.

Yesterday he called me up to ask if I was *free* at 1:00 tomorrow (today). He is almost at the end of his tour with his current command, and there is to be an awards ceremony this afternoon, and the command wants me to attend. Of course, I said I could be there...I want to be supportive of him!!

But, this end-of-command brings up the real change of plans. The end of one set of orders means the beginning of another. Which means transition. Change. I don't do change...or rather, I don't LIKE change. And this one is a doozie. Jason is separating from this command on the 15th, and will have approximately a month off, after which he reports to his new command, to head out for training before leaving for what is affectionately (*insert sarcasm font*) known as the sandbox. For a year.

Now, I know a lot of people who have been down this route repeatedly. And lived through it. And their families survived. But the last time Jason was deployed was 8 years ago - and that was only for four months. I'm out of practice. And I'm more than a little nervous.

There's a LOT to deal with on the homefront, when there are as many people in the house as we have. It would be NICE to have a second driver while he's gone....but the oldest is terrified of driving, even though she could have gotten her license way back in February. And she is in marching band...which means practices and competitions and football games. And the next two are in band at the middle school....and one is going to be in the Art Club. And then there are activities for the three in elementary school.

Plus, Frances is still dealing with the numbness in her arms and hands, and after a year the doctors still haven't figured out why. All they can tell us is that her nerves are healthy, and everything looks normal. So we have periodic doctors' visits, more testing, and twice-weekly physical therapy appointments.

And then there is my school. And work. And church. See why I'm a little nervous about his leaving? There's only one of me. And there is enough to keep two or three of us busy. And even for all of my advertising and begging, no one has found my clone, or stepped forward to offer their services as my administrative assistant (volunteer position, of course!).

So, that leaves me in the same place as many other military spouses...preparing for being a married single parent, and not knowing how I'm going to be able to do it. I know that I have wonderful friends, and a GREAT church family, and I KNOW that I can call on them for emergencies, and they'll rally. The emergencies are not what concern me so much. It's the dailiness that gets to me. The trying to figure out how to juggle everything, without dropping any of the important stuff. (which is already happening - who am I kidding...I forget stuff ALL the time...even if it IS written in my day planner!).

So, now I am off...I have work to get done before heading to his awards ceremony. And laundry. And dishes. You know...all of those things that have to get done anyway....