Here sits a small pile of laundry. This is the last load of Ray’s clothes that I will do for a while. Some of you might think, “Woo hoo, less clothes to wash!” I, however, love doing laundry (yes, I’m weird). This is a small part of what I do to take care of my family. Not having his clothes to wash signifies that he isn’t here for me to take care of anymore. For that matter, he isn’t here to take care of me either.
I’ve held this pile aside… keeping a piece of him here for just a while longer. I look at it and think, maybe today… but I can’t bring myself to do it yet.
I’m getting lonely. Yes, the boys are here and friends keep checking on me, but it’s not the same. I do get emails from him and, praise the Lord, I have been able to see his face on Skype, but it’s not the same. I imagine that there are a lot of lonely people around me everyday. We mask it with smiles and “I’m fine’s,” but inside we all want that other piece WITH us, that makes us whole. We want that hand that fits perfectly with ours. We want the arms that when wrapped around us, makes everything ok.
For now, I will focus of the fact that he loves me… even if it is from miles away. I will use this time to draw near to God to give me strength. I will remember always that His love surpasses all. With that knowledge in my heart, I can get laundry done… maybe today…
“may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:18-19
Like most of you, my house has been in chaos the past few days. I did my best to get ready for Christmas, despite my lack of motivation. I think the boys had a good day. You can see by the picture, they were not lacking in “stuff.”
Normally, my house is pretty neat. It doesn’t pass a white glove test, but the beds are made, counters are clean, and the floor is picked up. I guess I’ve been in a fog, because I just walked around my house an wondered where I was! Not one bed is made, dirty clothes (and clean ones) everywhere, dishes on the counter, and the floor is definitely not picked up. The picture does not even do the mess justice!
This is the time of year when schedules and routines are thrown out the window. School is out and there are a few days off work. I don’t like it! I am in love with my routine… I thrive on lists and order. I think my brain may explode if I walk through my house again!
There is a new year coming. Most of us make promises of new beginnings and fresh starts… some we keep and others… well, we try to forget we made. This new year will bring alot of changes to our house. Daddy is half a world away and that will be a challenge. I am excited about finding new ways to show him that we love him.
For right now though… I must bring some semblance of order back to our home. Wish me luck!
“She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:27
I have a tattoo on my back of a sun with a Chinese symbol in the middle that means persevere. Mind you, the tattoo artist had not spent 32 years (or even one) studying the fine art of Chinese writing. So, if you ask someone that has, my tattoo may actually mean something like “give up” or “you smell like a donkey.” I am content living in the delusion that it means exactly what I intended… persevere.
To me, that is a big word. Every time I am faced with a trial, big or small, I remind myself that I have that word forever etched on me. I can not, will not give up. We are going through a trial right now, but we will persevere. We will come out stronger on the other side.
Last night, my brother helped me be Santa’s elf. (If you ask him, maybe it was the other way around.) The boys got a basketball goal from Santa. That was a BIG item, especially since daddy isn’t here to assemble it! I don’t know what I would’ve done without my brother helping me. For that matter, I don’t know what I would’ve done without all the people that have helped me this past week. God sent me angels, in the form of family and friends, to watch my boys for a week, to repair a flat bike tire, to give up a cherished nutcracker, to spend a day with me, to have dinner with me, and to assemble a basketball goal.
We all face trials, how we handle them determines our character. God helps us get through hard times, sometimes by sending others along to help or encourage us… sometimes we just need to lean on Him. What are you facing today?
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12
I asked Ray to write me a letter for Christmas. I was finally able to read it tonight. Of course, I cried. I love that man more than my vocabulary is able express. We have been through so much in our almost ten years of marriage. We have grown together, in Christ. We are strong… together. A few years ago, I couldn’t say that. God knew what we needed. God gave us three years of shore duty that bound us together… tightly… in and with Christ.
We are going through this time apart… but praise God, that my heart aches while Ray is away. I praise God for this time apart. We are able to feel those forgotten feelings of an anticipated phone call or letter. I feel so excited to wake up in the morning to find an email from my love. I can’t wait until the day that we are able to Skype and I can actually see his face and hear his voice. When was the last time that you got butterflies of anticipation for your spouse?
We get caught up in everyday… kids, work, life… we forget the feeling of falling in love with our spouse. We forget the newness. Sometimes, we forget why we fell in love. I praise God for giving us this time to renew that feeling. I praise God that I have a husband that I love and that loves me enough to hurt while we are apart. I praise God for love letters…
“I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.” Psalm 9:1-2
Not the most attractive, but it’s our last picture together for a while. The past few days have been a whirlwind. There’s been work, school, homework, gifts, packing, and so much other “stuff” that has been going on. Sometimes, I was thankful for any distraction, other times I wanted everything to stop so I could breathe in my surroundings.
We drove to the airport in almost complete silence. There was the occasional mention of traffic, what time it was, and how cold it was… but most of the conversation was spoken simply between our latched hands.
There was so much bustle at the airport, even at 5:00am. We sat watching people get on airplanes, a mom say a tearful goodbye to her children, even a few guys miss their flight. We sat… holding hands… talking about everything we could other than what was about to happen.
There were so many things that I wanted to say… but couldn’t muster the words, much less the strength so say them out loud. They finally called for his plane to board, I was hoping that I was dreaming… that the day had not actually arrived. We hugged and shared tearful “I love you’s” and then he was gone. I stood there until his plane left my sight and cried all the way to the truck. And so it begins…
We will be ok, sadness will fade and life goes on… in the meantime, we will be the best Perry’s we can be to honor the sacrifice that he has made for us and for our country.
“It [love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:7
I don’t know how, but I’ve made it through the day without having an emotional breakdown (so far). I start feeling that swelling of sadness inside, but have managed to keep it at bay.
This morning I was having a hard time. My insides wanted to cry… but my circumstances didn’t have time for that. I got on Facebook this morning and posted this…
Ashli Hatcher Perry
Maybe if I close my eyes time will stop…
As soon as I did, I almost lost it. I was trying to hold it together and get the boys ready for school. Dylan walked up to me, put his arms around my neck, and just stood there. Although he hadn’t seen my post or my emotion, I think he just knew. I hugged him for quite a while, we never said a word.
I’ve gotten alot of texts, emails, Facebook comments and calls today. I appreciate each one. I’m pretty sure that God put a bug in your ears to check on me today… I’m glad you are paying attention. 🙂 I am so thankful for each kind word, but nothing got me through my day better than that sweet boy of mine that wrapped himself around me this morning.
“Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him.” Psalms 127:3
I opened my door last night. That itself it a huge statement. After so many years of having a panic attack every time the doorbell rang (due to the condition of my front room), I was finally able to open the door and let people in. In all, there were 60-70 people. Go big or go home!
I am so thankful for our friends. These wonderful people took time to come show their love to Ray. I know that sometimes he finds it truly hard to believe that people care so much about our family. I think he was overwhelmed last night.
I had prayed hard all day that I would not stress… I didn’t. I sat and enjoyed everyone in my home. I enjoyed the conversation, I didn’t mind the rowdy kids, my dog behaved, the food was awesome… mostly I enjoyed watching everyone tell my husband how much he would be missed and they would be praying for him.
I have one week… one week to enjoy every moment… one week to appreciate what a great man I have as a husband… one week to show him two years worth of love… one week…
“The poor are shunned even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends.” Proverbs 14:20