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....