Deployments and Disappointments…

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I’ve been dealing with some anger and disappointment lately.  Neither of which are God approved.  I’ve been feeling very convicted about my feelings.  So, I’ve spent time in prayer and figured I’d share.  Maybe you haven’t had the same circumstances, but you can relate to the feelings.

Deployments, for lack of a better word, suck.  It is hard for those of us that are left behind, but I would argue that it’s much harder for the ones that leave.  Our sailors and soldiers leave their families because duty called.  They miss hugs from their spouse and children, they miss birthdays, births, first steps, I could go on forever.  They are in foreign territory, usually around very ungodly people.  They are surrounded by bad influences, gunfire, unbearable heat, freezing cold, dirt, or water.

I can guarantee you not one of them ever made an excuse that they were too busy to stand a watch amidst gunfire for your freedom, or that they didn’t know you well enough to enter enemy gunfire to protect your homeland.  When they got a call they said “yes sir.”  That being said, it makes me so angry that men and women in the US military sometimes feel forgotten.  I’m dealing with this on a personal level right now and my feelings are high.

I understand that you “pray for” and “think about” them and that’s all well and good.  But, do they know that?  How can you call them a friend if you “are too busy” to send an email or simply forgot?! REALLY?!  Imagine if it were you… you get up in the morning check your email… nothing… mail call everyday… nothing.  How would that make YOU feel?  Well, I know how it makes me feel and now, I guess you do too! 😉

So, I’ve had to pray about my feelings and I’ve come to realize that I‘ve placed MY expectations on others.  I am mad, not because they didn’t do what was promised, but because they haven’t done what I think they should’ve.  So, that isn’t good.  I seem to think that if you consider yourself a good friend, you would make contact every now and then.  Maybe I should just accept the prayers and shut up.  Prayers ARE huge and appreciated.

Then, in the middle of my sulking and disappointment, God turned my head.  Once I was looking in the right direction, God showed me others’ lights shining brightly through my dark clouds.  People that I didn’t expect came through.  New people shed new light.  I realized that though my expectations in general may be valid, the people who would meet them were rather unexpected.   I also realized that I have failed others.  People have expected things from me… sometimes I rise to the challenge… and other times I fall flat.  But, God ALWAYS provides… it may not be in the way that we want or expect, most of the time it’s better.

“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

Have To’s…

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Lately, I’ve been feeling like everything I do is a “have to.”  I tell the boys that I have to work, they have to go to school, we have to go to church, I could go on forever.  Lord knows that right now I have to do everything!  I feel like my brain is trained with the words “have to.”  Being from the South, it usually turns into “hafta.”

It seems that by always saying “I hafta go to the grocery store, I hafta pick up the kids, I hafta take one or the other to ball practice” that I am turning these tasks into burdens.  Mind you, some tasks do feel like burdens, but some don’t.  I rather enjoy watching my boys play sports and I actually like grocery shopping (as long as they aren’t with me).

I am making a commitment to myself to take out the “hafta’s” altogether or change them to “get to’s” if it fits.  Maybe by changing how my mind thinks about a task will change how my heart feels while I’m doing it.

“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” Psalms 51:12

How Does Your Garden Grow?…

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I have some really great friends.  Now that my husband is gone, they’ve really surrounded me with love and support.  I started thinking how friendships are like flowers.  All flowers need soil and water to grow.  Without one or the other, the flower won’t bloom. Some flowers require more water or more soil than another, but they can not survive without bothWe are the water and soil in our relationships.

Some flowers can grow, flourish even, with very little care.  They can grow, fast and furious, on roadsides with very little soil or water.  They grow there, naturally, as if made for that spot.  They can be hacked down and sprout right back.

Other flowers take great care and an exact mix of soil and water to grow, much less bloom.  Left unattended, they wither and die.  Orchids for example, take more skill and care to bloom.  But… oh, what a flower it produces.  It’s beauty is worth every bit of care and love that it required.

In my life, I have a garden of friendships.  Some are easy to grow, others take a great effort.  Some take more water, some take more soil, and some an even mix.  I might be the water of one friendship and the soil of another.  My prayer is that I am the right amount of what I need to be to make each friendship bloom.

“It had been planted in good soil by abundant water so that it would produce branches, bear fruit and become a splendid vine.” Ezekiel 17:8

Things I’ve Learned About Boys…

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God gave me boys because He knew me!  God knows that I have no idea what to do with hairbows and make-up.  He knows that it isn’t polite to yell and cheer at a ballet recital, therefore I would be really out of place.  He gave me boys… and I am thankful.  Here are some things I’ve learned about boys along the way…

  • ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS, check their pockets BEFORE the washing machine.
  • Everything is a competition… running, putting on a seatbelt, finishing dinner, everything.
  • Song lyrics are merely a suggestion… my favorite is “give me some meatballs and free my soul I wanna get lost and drop and roll.”
  • DSI games can survive the washer and dryer, iPods can not. (See above)
  • Anything can be turned into a weapon… sticks turn into make-shift swords and fingers can easily be guns.
  • Touching their privates must be some gender requirement.
  • There is always dirt.
  • Loud is normal.
  • Burping and farting are socially appropriate.
  • Play is necessary, conversation is not.
  • They have trouble aiming 😉 .
  • There is no disagreement that 5 – 10 minutes won’t heal.
  • Even if they act tough, they still need to hear that you are proud of them.
  • No matter how old they get, they still love mommy hugs & kisses, even if they pretend not to.

“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.  They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adron your neck.” Proverbs 1:8-9