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!

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: 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: 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