Diary of a Military Wife: Feeling of Discontentment

when deployment is coming to an end and the light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter daily, it tends to feel like every minute is a lifetime and every day is an eternity. every skype date and phone call with hubby becomes so bittersweet and rarely does a conversation pass without words of discontentment being spoken. “would you PLEASE just come home?!” i say in exasperation; as if he has any control over the situation. “i’m so ready to be done” he replies when i ask him what’s wrong.

i find that sleep is a sweet escape because, in sleep, the hours just seem to disappear and when i wake the number on my countdown has been reduced by one. i wake and think; “one day closer.” and while the excitement builds as his return nears, so does the discontentment in the reality that it is not here yet.

yet, when Paul speaks on the subject of contentment, he doesn’t speak about being discontent and struggling through each day until the circumstance changes. quite the opposite actually.

Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. Philippians 4:12-13 (MSG)

in my discontentment i lose sight of Jesus, “the one who makes me who I am”. and when i lose sight of Jesus, i lose sight of reality; i lose sight of the fact that “This is the day that the Lord has made… Psalm 118:24” and rather than rejoicing in it i bitterly survive it.

but not any more. i am daily realizing that where i am is exactly where He wants me to be, and where He wants me to be, is exactly where i want to be.

i’m not saying it’s easy. quite the opposite, actually. it’s a battle every day. and every day i have to constantly remind myself of who i am, who He has made me to be and Who has made this very day. but when i do, i not only survive, i thrive. and i know that I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me!

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Diary of a Military Wife: Giving Up Control

sometimes i wish i would take my own advice, listen to my own words and do what i say i’m going to do. it seemed that the moment i wrote about not planning, but simply trusting God, i immediately started planning. would we buy a house in Washington? if so, where? and when? do we want kiddos right away? if so, when is “right away”? and how many? when do we want to move to NYC?

when talking is all you can do, sometimes talking turns into planning and bevore we knew it we were trying to plan out our entire lives. it was refreshing, i have to admit, to occupy my mind with thoughts of the future. the future meant him being home and us being together. but that refreshing feeling soon grew to an overwhelming feeling that we HAVE to get everything planned and together. the thing was, the more we talked about it the more confusing it got. if we went this route then how would that fit into the picture? and if we went that direction what would we do about this?

the feeling to let it go and let God work it out kept popping up, and i kept pushing it aside. it was getting in the way and i wanted to be in control, have it all figured out, have some sense of security in having a “plan”. during a certain conversation one morning, my mom spoke the words that i had been ignoring for so long. “wait. wait til Chris gets home and you get settled into doing life together. then you can think about making these decisions.” having him gone had given me a sense of insecurity that i didn’t even recognize but her words called it out into the open. it seems like there are so many unknowns and to be honest, i don’t do good with unknowns. i wanted to get mad at her for not giving me the answer that i wanted but i knew that it was the answer that i needed. so instead i took a deep breath, stopped planning and started trusting. it hasn’t been easy though.

it’s a daily battle to give up the control that i so badly want in order to let God have the control He so badly needs. but when i do, i find the security i need, knowing He’s got it all under control.

Diary of a Military Wife : An Honorary Best Man

the rehearsal went flawlessly and was full of joy and laughter at what the next day would bring. yet as we sat at dinner later that night my heart hurt at the thought that he was missing out on it all.

we went around the room, sharing stories of their past and excitement for their future but as the turn came closer to mine my mind raced as i tried to think of the perfect words he would want me to say. every word i could think to speak brought a lump in my throat and tears to my eyes.  my turn came and went and the only words i could speak were “i’ll pass”. not out of a desire to leave words unspoken but simply because i knew i wouldn’t be able to speak any of them.  my heart hurt at the thought that he was missing out on it all.

the sun was shining bright and the buzz of last minute wedding details being put into place left a smile on every ones face. it had been months in the making and she had thought of every little detail, leaving all involved thoroughly impressed. while she put the last minute touches on as she prepared to walk down the aisle i snuck away, with laptop in hand, determined. while he couldn’t be there in person, i wanted him to experience it as much as he could.

we walked down the aisle, all smiles. but as i took my place in the bridesmaids row and turned to look at the many who came to show their love and support for the happy couple i couldn’t help but look immediately to the computer screen. front row, third chair from the aisle, there sat chris, watching via skype, from Afghanistan. and my heart hurt, knowing he was missing out on it all. his best friend and brother was now committing to a life of love and laughter to his best friend and chris was 8000 miles away.

when my brother asked chris to be his honorary best man, i cried.  the thought of my husband, my brothers best friend having to miss my brothers wedding overwhelmed me. the thought of deployment overwhelmed me.

as the ceremony concluded and the reception commenced i stood in the grass and talked to him. “thank you so much baby”, he said. he didn’t look at it as missing out at all but rather was filled with gratitude that he was able to experience it. and while my heart hurt, and i missed my best friend like crazy, i was so grateful that he was able to witness one of his best friends marry the love of his life. even if from 8000 miles away.

Diary of a Military Wife: Secrets to Getting Through

i have found that the secret to get through deployment months is to stay busy; always have somewhere to go or something to check off the to-do to keep the mind occupied. and thankfully, thus far, i have been very busy. but as i get settled in our new home and the busyness of moving subsides i know that i have to keep up the pace. i also know that if i don’t have a plan set, a schedule written out, i won’t get stuff done. i will end up floating… and i don’t want to float. i want to start each day with a purpose and end it with a feeling of accomplishment. therefore i have created goals; for myself, for our business, and for our home. some are small, and some are big but all are important and totally achievable. so, in an effort to keep me accountable, i’m sharing my goals with you:)

 

*blog daily (yikes… this one scares me. it has been a mental goal of mine since forever… i’m determined to make it happen this time!)

*read 2 books a month

*visit my dear friend Marissa at least once a week!

*get my concealed carry license (hubby will be so proud!)

*work out at least 5 times a week

*journal every night

*paint window panels for my new office (check out my inspiration!)

*put our wedding photos up

*organize EVERYTHING (you should see my desktop right now… what a mess!)

*plan & execute at least one concept shoot

 

there we have it. with my list in hand i’m praying that this deployment just flies by!

XOXO

Diary of a Military Wife: One Box at a Time

we were a week away from our trip to NYC and on our way to church. while chatting about life and what it would be like while Chris was deployed we came to the realization that the best place for me to be while he was away was much closer to our church and the family we had found there. we prayed  and prayed and scoured craigslist over the next couple days and by mid-week we knew without a doubt that moving to Seattle needed to happen much sooner than we had originally planned. by the end of the week we were signing our rental application and as we waited for our plane that Saturday we received the call that we had been approved. we arrived in NYC and wrote our deposit check, placed it in an envelope and handed it to our hotels front desk. it was official. we were moving to Seattle and there was no turning back.

i was grateful for the distraction that i thought moving, unpacking, and setting up our new home would give me. but as Chris tried so lovingly to help me figure out our wireless router over the phone last night i cried. “i just wish you were here” i said. moving had become overwhelming and the fact that i would have to do everything on my own brought about tears. there was so much to do and i just didn’t know how i was going to do it all.

with his soft words he reassured me that it’s a process, that i don’t have to do everything in one day, that i need to relax and enjoy it. with is soft words he gave me the perspective that i needed. and now? now i’m just taking it one box at a time.

So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own troubles. Matthew 6:34

Diary of a Military Wife : This Season

i shed a tear as we sat in the car, wishing that time would freeze right there and hoping that this next season in our lives wouldn’t come. maybe if we just stayed right there it wouldn’t happen… if we just stayed right there, in the car, we could skip this season entirely, move onto the next and start our live together outside of the Army. but time didn’t freeze. and this next season was unfolding right before us.

we kissed, he prayed, we kissed again and then we opened the car doors. he threw his bag over his shoulder and gave me one last kiss goodbye and as i watched him walk away i couldn’t help but feel that i was dreaming. it was surreal. and if i was truly honest with myself… it’s still surreal.

last deployment i was a mess. it was his 3rd deployment but my first, and i wasn’t ready. there were many days that the thought of him being gone overwhelmed me. i cried and i cried and i couldn’t wait for the deployment season to end. i isolated myself from friends and family because i could’t bare attending anything with out him by my side.  i allowed my circumstances to dictate my emotions and i sank under the weight of it all.

there’s something different about this deployment. and maybe that’s why it feels so surreal. there’s a peace, a comfort, an expectation that in the midst of it all there is hope. last deployment i lost sight of Jesus, and i sank. i allowed every circumstance around me to consume my attention until i could no longer see who Jesus was in my life, that He was my peace, my comfort and my hope. but as i sit here tonight, alone, i am reminded that while i can not change my circumstances, i can change my perspective. so tonight i set my eyes on Jesus, the one who never changes, to be my constant. where my husbands arms normally give me peace, comfort and hope, there is Jesus, my constant and everlasting source of peace, comfort and hope.

 

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with it’s earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  

Philippians 4:6-7

Doug & Cortney – Pre Deployment

in less than 24 hours they say ” i do ” and in less than a month they will say goodbye as he leaves for Afghanistan. when Cortney moved up to Washington from Arizona I couldn’t wait to get them in front of my camera for their pre-deployment shoot. and when Doug proposed soon after i KNEW i couldn’t pass up the opportunity to capture their overflowing love for one another.

Elijah & Nicole – Pre Deployment – Olympia Waterfront – Olympia, WA

it was the military that brought him to her, over 3 years ago. and in just 2 weeks, it will be the military that will take him away from her, for 9 months of their life together.

when my husband told me that he was leaving, my heart broke for his wife. as a fellow military wife, i knew exactly what she was going through. so when my husband told me that he had mentioned wanting to get some photos taken of him and his wife before they left i jumped at the opportunity.

yesterday we met up with elijah and nicole at the olympia waterfront for a pre-deployment photo shoot. the sun was shining and the skies were blue, a rarity this time of year in the pacific northwest. it was perfect.

elijah & nicole, we had such a great time with you two and are praying for a safe and quick return for you, elijah. i hope you enjoy your photos:)

in these moments

most days the thought doesn’t even cross my mind. i enjoy all that we are and all that we have and think nothing of the looming future. but there are other days; often brought on by a specific event, something someone says, or a movie we watch, that the thought is painfully present. and it’s in those moments that i can’t help it. i try to hold back the tears but they just begin to flow.

as we lay on the couch, watching PS I Love You, the thought of having to do life with out him, even if only for a short while, was overwhelming. and i cried. i tried to tell myself that his 3.5 month absence is less than most have to endure but the reality of being away from the one you love, no matter the length of time, hurts.

it’s in these moments, when i feel so weak and vulnerable, that Jesus reminds me yet again that He is sufficient for all that i need, and it’s in these moments that i know i’m going to be ok

each time He said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” so now i am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Don’t Be Weak!

“We were made to be courageous We were made to lead the way We could be the generation That finally breaks the chains We were made to be courageous We were made to be courageous We were warriors on the front lines Standing, unafraid But now we’re watchers on the sidelines While our families slip away Where are you, men of courage? You were made for so much more Let the pounding of our hearts cry We will serve the Lord We were made to be courageous And we’re taking back the fight We were made to be courageous And it starts with us tonight The only way we’ll ever stand Is on our knees with lifted hands Make us courageous Lord, make us courageous This is our resolution Our answer to the call We will love our wives and children We refuse to let them fall We will reignite the passion That we buried deep inside May the watchers become warriors. Let the men of God arise We were made to be courageous And we’re taking back the fight We were made to be courageous And it starts with us tonight The only way we’ll ever stand Is on our knees with lifted hands Make us courageous Lord, make us courageous Seek justice Love mercy Walk humbly with your God In the war of the mind I will make my stand In the battle of the heart And the battle of the hand In the war of the mind I will make my stand In the battle of the heart And the battle of the hand We were made to be courageous And we’re taking back the fight We were made to be courageous And it starts with us tonight The only way we’ll ever stand Is on our knees with lifted hands Make us courageous Lord, make us courageous We were made to be courageous Lord, make us courageous”

As this song resonates in my head after listening to it time and time again since i recently downloaded it, it speaks to me in ways i never imagined. Lately i’ve had multiple talks with a close friend who has struggled with a reoccuring phrase in his head…”Don’t be weak”. He recently started to work with many of our higher ranking individuals in a business/office like setting. In a realm where free speech to such individuals is frowned upon, and at times punishable by legal action based on WHAT you say, its difficult when prompted by the Spirit to minister to them. It’s times like these that you must trust in God and make the move. In his words, don’t be weak. Courage as many have you have heard is not necessarily the absence of fear, but the ability to move forward in spite of it. Trusting in God allows us to move past our fears, putting faith in what we know based on the Word of God, rather than in our own emotions. He put his caution aside and spoke to both of our highest ranking individuals about the Lord Jesus Christ. Much to his amazement it went really well. Both are fellow believers, interested in sitting in on his bible study…a mere pion compared to them and they are looking to him spiritual support. Courage has served him well. We should all draw our courage from the Lord in such ways. Romans 8:15 MSG say “This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” “We were made to be courageous, And we’re taking back the fight, We were made to be courageous, And it starts with us tonight.” God is calling each of us to be courageous, chasing after the lost with a heart of compassion and fervor. I agree, and believe that this generation can make a change, can help build the kingdom of God like no other generation. But the call has been put on us to take the step. Risk it. Don’t feel like you can? Ask Jesus for the strength, direction, and passionate burden. “The only way we’ll ever stand, Is on our knees with lifted hands, Lord, make us courageous. Seek justice, Love mercy, Walk humbly with your God.

Let the men of God arise”