Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bible in 90 Days

Some of you may have already heard about a movement to read the Bible in 90 days....

I'm going to post about this in more detail, but I am planning to start this adventure on May 11th and read through the entire Bible this summer.  My plan is to post weekly with a reading schedule as well as my thoughts about the previous week's reading.  I'm praying that you would consider joining me! 

More to come soon!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

HE Lives!

A very happy and blessed Easter to each of you!

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved - and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."  - Ephesians 2:4-10

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Autumn is 1!

My baby girl is 1!  I had a hard time kissing her goodnight yesterday, because I couldn't get over the fact that Autumn would be one in the morning.  She has grown up so fast, and I can hardly believe our first year with Autumn is behind us.

She is our love-bug.  Our chubby baby who loves to giggle, explore the house and dance to the music.  She is our blessing.  The baby we waited for.  And she has given our family more love than I ever imagined.

Autumn's 1st ice cream at McDonald's (although I suspect Daddy may have shared some before) 

Tower of white cupcakes with butter cream frosting
(Head over to my friend, Karla, the Culinary Enthusiast, for the frosting recipe)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Support for a fellow MilSpouse

Last June, I started playing around with the idea of starting a blog journaling my life as a military wife and momma.  The very first milspouse blog I happened across was Jessica's at {Mis}Adventures of an Army Wife.  Her posts are always so honest, refreshing, straightforward and funny.  She's encouraged me with her positive attitude and real perspective on all that's good, bad and ugly as a military spouse.

Last Monday, Jessica posted a final farewell to the blog world.  She was depressed, lonely and feeling completely shattered by a life that suddenly seemed to crumble around her.  It's really best that you read her post here to understand all of her hurt and pain.  She was at the end of her rope and feeling that she couldn't go on anymore.

Thank God, her suicide attempt failed.  Her mother posted a note on Saturday from Jessica - she's in the hospital and getting the help she needs.  Her parents posted a comment on that note, asking the blogger community to come out and support her.  Here is what they said:

"To all the wonderful people who responded to Jessica on her "Misadventures of an Army WIfe" blog,

Tom and I want to thank all of you for the kind words you have posted on Jessica's blog. Jessica is currently in the hospital for an unknown lenght of stay and will require continued therapy afterwards. I was able to vist with her for about 1 1/2 hours on Thursday, 14 April, and she is starting to realize her actions last week as well as the events that led to her depression and suicide attempt. I did print out all your comments from her blog and was able to give her a hardcopy.

One of Jessica's friends had a great idea that Tom and I are following up Easter Basket filled with notes and cards of encouragement, empathy, stories, understanding or good 'ole humor! If we could be so bold to the virtual community, we would like to ask you to send your thoughts, notes, cards, etc. to the P.O. Box below that we have now estabished:

P.O. Box 292138
Columbia, SC 29229

I will gather them into an Easter Basket of Cheer for Jessica this week to continue to let her know she is not alone nor are the events she experienced isolated to just her.

Please do not send gifts or money....just your words of encouragement and prayers.

Please let the our request spread.....

Thanks again to all you,
-- From the parents of Jessica....Tom in NM and now Sue in SC"

I've learned time and time again, that we have a great milspouse blogger community!  When Joel was overseas, I was overwhelmed by the amount of love, support and encouragement I received by a group of milspouses who really understand all the ups and downs that I felt and experienced.  Right now, we have an amazing opportunity, to surround Jessica with love and prayers.  Please consider sending her a note to let her know that she's valued, understood and loved.

Friday, April 15, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Thanks, Wife of a Sailor!

1.With PCS moves happening every few years, do you take the time to paint and decorate your home? submitted by Life as Mrs. JPT
We're a Guard family, so fortunately this isn't something I have to worry about.  Major kudos to you who do - I cannot stand moving and can't imagine packing up and moving every few years.

2.If you could live in any home on a television series, what would it be? submitted by Standing By Him
I love Nora's house from Brothers & Sisters.  I'm not personally a fan of the Southwest architecture on the outside, but her kitchen it amazing!

3.What inspired you to start your blog? submitted by Pink Combat Boots
I started this blog about a month before Joel left to go overseas.  I thought it would be a great way to connect with other military families, share some of my feelings along the way and also allow my family and friends to understand my life as a military spouse a little bit better.

4.What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen on base? submitted by Adventures in Life
I don't go on base enough.... no funny stories, sorry!

5.Which historical figure (politician, writer, artist, scientist, actor, etc…) would you like to have dinner with? submitted by Army of Two
One of my favorite books of the Bible is James.  It's an incredibly practical book and I always come away from it reminded of God wishes us to life out our faith.  The thing that really interests me is the fact that James was the half-brother of Jesus and only came to believe in Christ after His crucifixion.  I've always been interested in James' perspective of brother and why it was that it took so long for him to believe and convert.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Transition Back

I've been wanting to write this post for a few weeks now, but I've had a hard time putting together my thoughts and feelings about it all.... the transition from deployment life to homecoming and now to normal life.

Transitions are hard and there is always a giant unknown regarding the outcome.  Will we come out of this transition stronger, weaker, tougher, sadder, exhausted, hopeless, renewed or broken?  I don't know of any serviceman or military spouse who can say in the middle of a deployment how things will turn out 3, 6 or 9 months after the homecoming.  The homecoming is awesome, but the days following a homecoming don't shine a truthful light to how life will be once things settles and routines get rolling.

I've talked pretty openly about our struggles in 2007 when Joel came home from Iraq.  Take a peek at part one and part two to read more about that.  So I knew how hard life has been for us post-deployment.  My hope was that we learned valuable lessons from that experience and that we wouldn't follow a similar path.  I also knew since I spoke about our struggles so honestly that those around us would be keeping a closer eye on us this time around and that we would have a better support system and accountability around us.

Well, all those things are true.  Joel and I talked openly weeks leading up to his trip home about what his homecoming may and may not be.  We were absolutely dedicated to keeping our marriage strong and focusing on the health of our family.  We weren't going to pick each other apart for the changes that occurred over his 7-month deployment.  We were dedicated to being patient, honest, loving and encouraging.  We knew we'd have to give each other room and ease into our "normal" married life. 

So, over the past two months, I've gotten countless emails and calls wondering how we were adjusting.  That has meant a lot to us.  It means a lot to know that so many people who love us, understand our past better and are willing to be there with us, no matter how good or bad things are.

Every time someone has asked how things have been, one word always comes to mind - peaceful.  Things have truly been peaceful in our relationship.  We are choosing not to bicker, to pick on each other's annoying habits.  We are choosing to listen, no matter how hard words can be to understand.  We are choosing to make our marriage, above all else our priority. 

So, peace has ruled for the past two months.  Our marriage is strong, despite some bumps in the road since Joel's been home.  We are easing into normal life, as much as life lets you ease back.  And when life pushes back and things get tense, we try to remember that we're on the same team and working toward the same goals, and that somehow works things out.

Thanks to all of you who have stood by us, prayed for us and encouraged us along the way.  And keep checking-in and ask how things are going!