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!

5 fun facts

when i originally set out to write this i had every intention of it being a “10 things you might not know about me” post. but i got to 5 and i was stuck! so, today i bring you 5 fun facts you might not know about me. and as seems to always be the trend, i’m sure i will have a million more pop into my head the minute i press the “publish” button. so don’t be surprised if you see another post similar to this one again:)

1. i am an introvert, 100%. and when i googled “introvert” the other day, just to make sure, i stumbled across this website. as i sat reading it, i thought this guy somehow snuck into my life and was writing specifically about me! my husband says #6 is his favorite introvert attribute about me. he is my number one pick when it comes to “sharing my discoveries” and it’s good to know it doesn’t annoy him:)

2. i start every day with a work out followed by some quality time reading and writing at my local Starbucks. i love that i can be around people yet not have to interact with any of them. did i mention i’m an introvert?

3. i can’t go to target with out browsing EVERY clearance section i can find! those little red stickers have the power to make me purchase things i would never otherwise consider buying. it’s all the little red stickers fault!

4. i could spend HOURS & 100’s of dollars at any given stationary/office supply store. i told me husband i was going to Paper Source the other day and he begged me to walk away. he knows me so well. i’m always on the look out for new and exciting places to get my stationary fix so feel free to share your favorite in the comments below! (just don’t tell my husband 😉

5. i LOVE pancakes, with peanut butter, and chocolate chips. it’s like dessert for breakfast. i found this delicious recipe a while back and it’s been my go to! while i don’t do the chocolate chips in my pancakes anymore (in hopes of not totally wasting my workout) i do slather them in peanut butter. it just wouldn’t be the same without peanut butter.

i would have included a photo of my delicious plate of pancakes from today had i not eaten them so fast. sorry:/

happy friday:)

a journal entry, a closed door, and a bigger door opened

july 24th, 2012

tonight i am reminded of Your goodness in my life. i am reminded that You have a plan and a purpose greater than i could ever imagine and that You are for me. i am reminded that You have my best interest at heart when You close doors that seem to lead to great opportunities. Your ways are higher and i choose to put my trust and my hope in You because i know that You do not disappoint. thank You

as a business owner striving to wholly pursue my dreams is hard. it comes with great excitements coupled with great disappointments. and when the disappointments come they seem to hit hard. and on july 24th, 2012, a certain disappointment hit especially hard. i questioned my ability and value to those around me. i questioned my direction and decision to build this business. i questioned everything. but i held onto the promise that God gave me, that God gave all of us, that He has a plan and a purpose for every single detail of our lives and that His plans are greater than we could ever hope or dream. i held onto  those promises and was determined to not give up, not give in, to whatever disappointment may come.

the very next morning, while at the gym, i received a text that almost sent me into a pile of tears. my heart screamed and i couldn’t believe what i was reading. for months chris and i had been praying, brainstorming, and praying some more. God had placed a burning desire within me to attend the Pursuit 31 Conference but we had no idea how we were going to make it work. but God did. that morning, God rocked our world. in ways only He can orchestrate, the text brought about the news that i was going to the conference! i couldn’t believe what i was reading and actually had to read it again. it was true. it was really happening.

when God closes doors He is always faithful to open others, constantly pushing us in the direction He is wanting us to go. sometimes the hardest part for us is accepting that the door has closed, that He has something different, something bigger, something better.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!  Ephesians 3:20 MSG

on throwing it all in, shaking it up, and taking back out

finally having the freedom to build a business doing what i love can be very rewarding. i wake up every day so excited to start the day, my mind racing with a million ideas and anticipating great things. it’s a feeling i have never felt before and one that i honestly didn’t know was possible. it’s these days that make me so grateful for the husband i have. the husband who has encouraged me to take this HUGE leap of faith and follow hard after my dreams.

there are days, though, where it all feels a bit overwhelming. days when i push and push and push and see little to no growth. days where specific dreams seem to die and the questions begin to rush in like a flood. days where i write out our budget for the month and feel like i’m failing us. i look at our income and see that i contribute nothing to our household; every penny that comes in from photography goes right back to the business and we are left completely reliant on my husbands income alone. it’s these days that i want to give up, throw it all away, and seek a “normal” job.

i poured out my heart to my husband over skype the other night. my worries that i wasn’t contributing and feelings of selfishness in it all. tears beginning to well up as the feelings of defeat crept in. i felt stuck. stuck trying to make my goals and dreams happen as a business owner while contributing to our goals and dreams as a family. he listened patiently, and when i was done he spoke words that i will never forget.

“see this cup?” he said. “we throw in my pay check and we throw in your pay check… shake it up… take out money for rent, utilities, business expenses, etc. it’s all the same.”

it was a simple illustration and it was all that i needed. with reassuring words he changed my perspective back to where it needed to be, reminding me that the decision to begin this business was a mutual decision, that no part of it was selfish and that he 100% supports where we are and the road we are on.

it’s these days that make me so grateful for the husband i have. the husband who has encouraged me to take this HUGE leap of faith and follow hard after my dreams.

 

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

Northwest Dive Expo- Point Defiance, Washington

she is always on an adventure, and i can hardly keep up. but when her adventures bring her north i make sure i join her, even if only for the morning. here’s a look into my morning with my mom, a couple sunday’s ago, at the northwest dive expo’s treasure hunt.

diving is all about helping each other. there is so much equipment to put on that it would be impossible to do by oneself. it was incredible to witness everyone helping each other.

Pikes Place with the parents

it had been months since we had seen our family. we had made plans to visit but it seemed a lifetime away and we were desperately missing everyone. my dad called and i asked when they were going to come up and see us, since the option for us to come down there has been almost non-existant. he said he would talk to mom, and thus the planning began. and a few days later we had a weekend scheduled on the calendar. nearly everyday chris and i would talk about how excited we were to finally see some family. two weekends ago my parents made the 4 hour drive to visit. my aunt joked that “the country mice were going to visit the city mice” and we laughed, because it was so true. chris and i were so excited to show them all around our new life together. we took them on a tour of joint base lewis mcchord, to seattle to explore pikes place market, and to our church so they could meet our new church family. we had such a great time with them and can’t wait for a second visit (hint, hint).

 

big game o chess

coolest street sigh, ever

my dad spotted these reflections and i thought they were pretty cool

yup, that’s us:)

if i could afford it i would buy every piece of produce available at pikes place market. it all looked incredibly delicious.

there was a barbershop quartet outside of starbucks. they were truly amazing.

random clarinetist. the streets of seattle are packed with randomness. i love it!

my lovely parents

we asked a stranger to take a photo of us. he asked what we wanted as our background and i was confused until i viewed the photo that he took. apparently he thought we wanted more of the background than we wanted of us. i worked my cropping skills though and did what i could to get rid of the excess background.

meet POP-EYE, our newest friend