Catch 22…

I’m missing Ray alot today. There’s alot going on this weekend and I’m starting to feel a little overwhelmed. It will be ok… one thing at a time will get everything done. But, for some reason, today it seems like there is a mountain that stands before me and someone has taken my walking stick away.

I talked to Ray earlier and he assures me that “I can handle it.” I’m not sure if he’s saying that to make me or himself feel better. I guess he’s right, I can “handle it” but, it’s not fun handling it alone. I get stressed out and we laugh. We laugh alot, it makes things more fun. I’m not laughing right now.

We get into a catch 22 while he’s gone. Men like to solve problems. When he is gone, he can’t “do” anything to help. When we talk, I try to share what’s going on, good and bad. If it’s something he can’t fix, he feels bad that he isn’t here. If I don’t share, he thinks everything is going fine and we don’t need him. This life isn’t for the faint of heart. I have to trust in God and my husband. I have to trust that God will get us through this and I have to trust that Ray knows that I do need him every second. He is my life support. Although, each day will go on and daily tasks will get done, my life is not complete unless he is here sharing it with me.

The picture is a typical day in our house. Ray comes home, takes his uniform off and hangs it on the door. Today, the door is empty…

“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 3:3

Martha and Her New Floor…

Those of you that know me best, know that I am TERRIBLY embarrassed by the front room of my house. When you enter the front door of my house, there is a “formal” living room and dining room. We are not really “formal” type people. So, we used that area as a toy room and my office. It has been that way for years. The carpet wasn’t great when we moved in, but we left it because we had small BOYS. Over the years it has gotten to the point where I do not want anyone to walk in my house.

I feel that I’ve been a slave to that carpet! I know it sounds awful, but there it is. If you’ve ever come over and I’ve left you standing on the front porch without asking you to come in, it’s because I am paralyzed by the thought of someone seeing the hideousness that lies on my floor. The OCD overwhelms me and I lose all my manners! 😉

Finally, we are able to purchase new flooring. No more carpet in this room! The flooring has arrived! (I was even horrified to let the delivery guy in, but felt comforted that he knew that it would be fixed soon.) They will install it next Tuesday and I don’t think I will know what to do with myself. I am giddy with the possibilities! I am fine with the fact that there probably won’t be one stitch of furniture in the whole area. After getting the actual flooring, who can afford furniture?! However, I will open the door and gladly usher you across the new floor to the “not so formal” family room where you can set awhile.

November 1st begins a new day in the Perry house. If you come over, I will gladly welcome you in… 🙂

“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.” Luke 10:38

I Am Thankful…

Today, I am thankful for these things…..

that Ray slept in later than he planned on;
that I got in some extra snuggle time with my man;
that we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast;
that I haven’t broken down in front of the boys today;
that Pastor John made a special trip to our house to give Ray a going away gift this morning;
that the Fall Festival at church was scheduled for today, it was a much needed distraction;
that the boys brought home plenty of chocolate from the Fall Festival;
that I was home in time from the festival to catch the FSU game = WIN!!;
that I didn’t cry every time someone hugged me or asked how I was doing today;
that we got some great family photos yesterday;
that Firehouse Subs is nearby and the fact that I didn’t have to cook at all today;
that Ray found Dylan’s baseball hat in his truck & took it out BEFORE he left town;
that we have great friends that have offered help in anyway they can;
that Ray will be home for Thanksgiving;
that this is not “the big one”;
that I have two boys that will snuggle up and watch Game 3 of the World Series with me tonight;
that Ray called 10 minutes after leaving to say that he missed me already;
that I had a few quiet moments to myself to cry.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 118:1

Wednesday Nights…

Other than Sunday’s, Wednesday’s are my favorite days. I get to eat a wonderful meal that was prepared by some of the best people around. I sit and eat with some of my very best friends. It is a great time of fellowship. I am so thankful for this meal. I look forward to it every week… probably more than I should!

Tonight was the last one that we (the 4 of us) will have together for a while. Ray is leaving Saturday for his month-long school. I’m beginning to feel like this is a “test run” for when he leaves in December. I wonder if I can make it a month, much less two years without my best friend. I tell myself that I’ve done it before for six months, that I’m strong, and I’ll be ok. But, then, I second guess myself.

Just when I need it the most, I go to church and have people stop and ask “are you ok?”… “how are you?”… “do you need anything?” And I think, you know what?! I AM ok! WE are ok! I am going to remain ok! I have family close enough if I need them, but I have a wonderful church family RIGHT HERE. But most important, I am a child of God. He will never leave me nor forsake me. No matter what I go through in the days, weeks, and months to come I have God that loves me. He hears my prayers and lights my path.

Today was a great day! I am constantly reminded how many people love “The Perry’s.” I so appreciate every prayer that is put forth on our behalf. We may have days that aren’t so great, but we will be ok.

“I love you Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:1-2

Sisters in Christ…

We meet about once a month for dinner. I prayed for these women. Last year I started praying for God to send me women that I could call close friends. Even though one has moved away, I have four. I never would have thought that God would have given me these particular women, but I am so thankful. These women have shared their hearts as have I. We have helped each other through some hard times. We pray for each other daily.

I don’t know what my life would be like without the prayers of these women. I am comforted everyday knowing that they use their precious time to pray for me and my family. I hope they know that I do the same for them. I feel like they are a part of me. God did not give me a sister, but he gave me four sisters in Christ. I cherish these women and their friendship.

If you don’t have a friend(s) such as these, PRAY. God answers our prayers. Sometimes we don’t get the answer we thought we wanted but, I’m willing to bet that if you are praying for a Godly friend that will be there for you, pray for you, and love you, He will provide.

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16

Martha in Cracker Barrel…

The other night we went to Cracker Barrel for dinner. I sat in my chair looking around, taking in the decor, listening to the the mix of chatter throughout the restaurant. We had just come from baseball practice. At practice, I sat on a curb watching, checking emails & facebook, trying to stay “current.” Ray on the other hand was asked to pitch to some of the boys in one of the batting cages. Of course he accepted.

Now… back to Cracker Barrel… I sat there looking around. Carson was bored (of course) so Ray said “let’s play tic-tac-toe.” For a moment Carson’s eyes lit up. Then, he says “there’s no tic-tac-toe game on the paper.” Ray, not missing a beat, tells him that they can make their own tic-tac-toe board. Carson was satisfied with that, gave Ray a crayon and they started playing.

I was reminded that Ray always “plays” with the boys. I’m learning that is how boys communicate. They don’t have to talk about their feelings for three hours. They can simply pick up a ball and play catch. I thought back to the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42). I seem to always be the “Martha.” I am so consumed with making sure that homework is done, food is prepared, house is cleaned, baths are taken, that I miss “the moments.” The moments of just sitting down and playing tic-tac-toe with my sons or grabbing a ball, or wrestling around on the floor.

Ray is leaving on Saturday for a month. I know that I still have to get all of my Martha duties done, but maybe the cleaning can get done later, maybe they could have a sandiwch instead of a cooked meal one night, maybe they could get off schedule every now and then, maybe we can play more, maybe I could be a little more like “Mary” for my boys’ sake.

Lessons Through Chocolate…

I received this necklace from Ray for my birthday. It is inscribed with “I am thankful that in God’s design He planned it so your path crossed mine.” Yes, I know… very sweet and romantic. Truth be told, I found this necklace and teared up over this sweet sentiment. My mom told Ray and of course, he went and bought it for me. Such a good husband! Every time I wear this necklace I am reminded not that Ray thinks this of me, but that I think this of him.

He is not the perfect man, but he is the perfect man for me. Any other would not put up with me or been trampled over long ago. Other than Jesus, Ray is the greatest servant that I know. Last night, I said “honey…” in that “I want something” tone. Immediately, he said “What, there’s no chocolate in the house and you want me to go to the store?” How did he know? He finished what he was doing and without complaint asked me what I wanted and went to the store. These simple acts are what I love most about him.

He serves with gladness. He is always eager to do anything. He serves his country, mows grass for people, helps them move, does heavy lifting, sets up tables, does dishes, serves at church, slices tomatoes, and even makes runs for chocolate. There are a lot of people that do a lot of things, but what truly amazes me about this man is that he never complains. Not one grumble about missing a tv show, a nap, or “his” time will cross his lips. He will gladly go whenever needed.

Sometimes, when the boys are acting up, we will say “that’s your son” or “he acts just like you!” I know those things are sometimes said in a derogatory manner, but I can only hope that my boys do grow up to be like their dad. I want us to have raised men that serve gladly, men that are selfless, men that take care of their families.

I don’t think that Ray truly has any idea of how much I love him or how much he means to me. I will miss him more than words…