God Provides…

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This is my new washing machine.  My old one quit spinning on its own.  I was reduced to propping the lid open with a spoon and reaching my hand in to get it started every time.  Given the fact that I barely have time to brush my teeth, babysitting my washer was not ideal.  God provided this washer for me.  As a matter of fact, God has provided so much for me lately… I’m sure I have yet to fully recognize it all.

God cancelled my son’s baseball game a few weeks ago so that I had time to go shopping for a new washer.  The one I found was in the scratch & dent section plus I got the military discount.  I got it for about half price.  God is good!

I notice little things like a game getting rained out when I had a conflict with both my boys’ schedules.  The rain allowed me not to have to choose between them.  A friend calling at just the right moment to offer encouragement; a meeting getting cancelled on a night when I really needed to be doing laundry; a kind word from my son on a day that I thought I might go crazy.

I was talking to a dear friend tonight about some of these things.  She said “at least you recognize that God is providing for you.”  And, she’s right!  I do.  Sometimes, I lift both arms in the air and shout “WOO!  Thank you God!”  (Yes, I did that in Lowe’s while buying the washer!)  I am a little (maybe a lot) crazy, but I truly believe that God is giving me little nudges along my way.  Our family is going through a HUGE trial right now.  I have put my trust and faith in God.  I trust that we are right where He wants us to be and I have faith that He will take care of us.  No, it’s not easy and some days all I can say is that I can mark it off the calendar.  But, other days, when I take the time to notice, I see that He is there helping me through.  He’s helping you, too… are you noticing?

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Ten Years…

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Military life is the most challenging experience that I’ve had to undertake.  You find someone that you love and want to spend the rest of your life with, but you don’t actually get that luxury.  I guess we only really wind up with half… maybe 3/4 if we live long enough.  Truly, most military marriages end in divorce.  It is not for the faint of heart.  Putting your marraige in God’s hands makes it easier… but definitely not easy.

Most people try to understand, but they can’t unless they’ve lived it.  Just like I can’t truly understand the shoes that you’ve had to fill.  We have this person that we love, but we have to give them away for a time to serve a greater cause.  We stay at home and manage the family in his absence.  We deal with every meal, lost tooth, heartache, bedtime, home repair, on and on… all while trying to hold our own selves up.  Most of us are in a place away from our families; we are truly on our own.  I am truly blessed to have been led to a wonderful church that has stood by me and picked me up in my time of need.  Without these Godly people supporting me and my husband… well, I’ll just say I’m truly thankful.

I get up everyday and mentally mark off yesterday as another day tackled.  One less day I have to spend without my love.  We’ve been through so much… today is our 10 year anniversary.  There was a time when I didn’t know if we’d make it this far.  God sent people to us that helped us through.  We’ve come through “bad” together… and it makes the “good” so much sweeter.  I love that man more than my heart knows how to verbalize.  I can’t think of anyone else that I would rather miss this much.  This too shall pass and God willing, we will have many years to actually share together.  Until then, I will keep my chin up, my eyes on God, and wait for my man to return with my heart.

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Conquering Hallmark…

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My life has been a whirlwind the past few days, maybe even the last few weeks… I can’t remember.  We’ve done basketball, baseball, work, homework, school, church.  I’ve been able to check some things off the “to-do” list.  Ray asked me to send him his jacket that he can wear with his uniform.  I hadn’t done this when he asked the first few times.  It didn’t seem a priority until I saw all the snow pictures… then I felt horrible!   Last week was more of a tornado that a whirlwind.  But, with God’s help, I managed to get the required tasks done.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  We have another important date just before that… our tenth anniversary!  If you have a loved one that is far away, you know that you must plan in advance to compensate for the mail service.  So, I went to the Hallmark store last week in the midst of my most hectic day.  I was able to pick up cards for my boys and even managed a sappy card for my mom (her favorite).

My next step was a Valentine for my man.  I stood there staring at the mass of “husband” tabs.  I couldn’t even manage to pick up a card.  I stared as if at any moment I would developed x-ray vision and be able to read the inside.  I didn’t… all I did was cry.  Tears were quietly streaming down my face, I was in my own little world.  Then, much to her dismay, the clerk asked “are you finding everything ok?”

What happened next reminded me of the I Love Lucy episode of Lucy crying hysterically.  I responded “no! You don’t have any cards that say ‘you are in Japan and I won’t see you for two years!'”  This poor lady started tip-toeing backwards like she had just walked up on a sleeping lion.  Looking back, it was truly funny… but at that moment, not so much.  I put on a brave front, but the realization that I won’t see my man for the next few Valentine’s Days… more importantly, our 10 year and after anniversaries made me really sad.  Hallmark has a lot of cards, but I didn’t find one that applies to my life right now.  I bought the cards I had picked for the boys and mom and left the store.

You will be happy to know that after a few days and life calming a little I went back and conquered Hallmark!  I was not going to let those cards or my sadness defeat me.  I could not let my feelings get in the way of Ray knowing how much I love him (because surely he wouldn’t know unless he read it on a card, right?!).  Each day I am faced with new challenges, some expected and some not.  I give it to God and God gets me through.  All I can say to tomorrow is… “bring it!”

“But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. Psalms 3:3-5