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: Learning to Embrace

it’s said that the first & the last month of deployment is always the hardest. in the first month you are still trying to accept the fact that your loved one is gone and desperately trying to adjust to this new life and schedule with out him. and in the last month the days can seem to drag on at a snails pace. you can see the light at the end of the tunnel but still have a few weeks to actually get there. and it’s hard. this proved very true for me last deployment. it was hard, and then smooth sailing for a bit, and then very very hard again.

this time, however, has been different. deployment was very quickly followed by a family 4th of July, a move to Seattle, and my brothers wedding. it was busy and it was great. the first month seemed to fly by and i was optimistic. and then… everything stopped. i found myself in Seattle, settled, and alone. and the reality of Chris being gone seemed to flood our empty apartment. i could fill my days till mid afternoon but then the minutes began to crawl. and i felt myself slipping. i knew this feeling. it was the same feeling i felt most of last deployment. a darkness, a feeling of hopelessness. the reality of being alone was consuming me. my heart was heavy and the worst part was i felt like i was doing it all on my own. i tried to stick it out, thinking i just needed to suck it up and endure this season. but i’m not alone, and i’m not meant to endure, i’m meant to embrace.

so in an effort to embrace this season, i have taken myself out of the daily routine of life, hopped in the car, and headed south, where i can surround myself with family and keep busy while Chris is away.

 

 

Diary of a Military Wife: Why Can’t Mine Be Receiving Gifts?

when it comes to love, everyone has a language; a way they express and receive love. for some it’s words of affirmation, where every compliment means the world to them. for others it’s quality time; having full and undivided attention melts their heart. some feel loved through the receiving of gifts while acts of service make others feel beyond appreciated. and for some they feel most loved when physical touch is involved. walking hand in hand, a hug, arms wrapped around their waist, all scream love!

chris & i took the 5 love languages test before our first deployment together… and were not surprised by our findings. my love language was quality time with a dash of physical touch mixed in. his was physical touch with quality time sprinkled here and there. we took the 5 love languages test again before this deployment, just to see if anything had changed. mine, not surprisingly, stayed the same. i love, and crave, quality time spent with my husband. his changed from physical touch being first to words of affirmation with physical touch being the runner up. he holds on to my every word and every compliment makes his heart smile.

“why does mine have to be quality time when you have to leave me for so long?!” i said jokingly, as i tried to cover up the seriousness of the question. “why can’t mine be receiving gifts? then you could just send me a gift a week and i would be perfectly happy.” then maybe the distance wouldn’t feel so… distant.

but, my love language is not gifts; it’s quality time mixed with physical touch. both of which are not possible in this season. and both of which i crave more than anything. what i wouldn’t give to have a night curled up in my husbands arms, TV off, computer shut down, phones put away, with our full and undivided attention focused on one another. talking, dreaming, and being.

and while this is anything but possible right now, i hold on to hope. hope of our future. the hope that we will soon be reunited. the hope that this journey will soon come to an end. and the hope that while in the midst of it all His grace is sufficient.

“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

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

Camilo & Juri – Pre Deployment

my pre deployment photo sessions are ones that i hold most near and dear to my heart. as the proud wife of a soldier i know how incredibly difficult it can be for a family to be apart for months on end. and my goal as a photographer is to make it as easy as i possibly can on the families by providing them with images to cherish during the deployment months. so naturally i take advantage of every oppotunity possible to capture these military families.

we met up with Camilo & Juri in NYC while my husband and i were there vacationing for the week, and while the weather was less than cooperative we made the best of it.

i feel so blessed to do what i do and have the ability to provide them with these images before Camilo leaves, especially with the exciting news of their little bun in the oven!

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:)