My Plea…

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BoysThese are my boys.  My husband, AO1 Raymond Perry, is proudly serving in the US Navy and has been aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard (and the USS Essex) based in Sasebo, Japan for 19 months.  He will have served 25 months before his current orders are up.

He just went through his window to pick orders for his next duty station.  We are praying fervently that he can come back home to us in Jacksonville, Florida.  He was allowed to pick in a three-month window.  His first set, nothing open here… did not get his pick.  His second set, nothing open here… did not get his pick.  His third and final set, one slot open here… did not get his picks. We are now going through uncharted territory.  We’ve never not gotten any orders thereby being placed on the “needs of the Navy” list.  The way my husband explained this is that the Navy can put him wherever or leave him in Japan.

We are a two-income family.  We are proud members of Shindler Drive Baptist Church and serve our church in every way we can.  I’ve been at my job for nine years.  It would put a hardship on my small business employer if I were to leave.  Given this economy, I wonder if or how quickly I would find other employment if we were forced to move.

I am an avid news watcher and follow politics closely.  I see the military making budget cuts.  I wonder how much financial sense it makes to pay for a family to move, when they could save the government money by staying in their community?  I understand that it wouldn’t cost anything to leave him in Japan.  However, he is getting slightly more pay just for being away from his family.  The government could save money just by sending him home on a plane.  Heck, I’ll even buy the ticket!

The military has a high divorce rate.  Mind you, we will not be one of those statistics, but it puts a huge burden on a family to be separated for 25 months.  I do not claim to know how much time every service member spends away from their family, but 18 months is about the most I’ve heard from the other branches of service.

We love our country.  We work hard.  We love God and serve Him to the best of our ability.  I know that there are many people going through the same or similar circumstances out there.  We… my boys and I, and my community need my husband home.  Prayer works.  I ask… no, I’m begging you… please pray for our family. Please pray that a position will open up here (Jacksonville, FL) so he can come home.

My boys need their dad.  They’ve put in their time.  This assignment, they will have been without him for over two years of their life.  That’s a lot for any boy, but especially for ones their age. Please pray for us… please share this post with your friends, on your Facebook, Twitter, wherever.  God hears prayers and we need all we can get.  Thank you for your time to read this, thank you more for sharing your time with God on our behalf.

In Christ, The Perry Family @ashli_perry

“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”  Matthew 21:22

“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress.  He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.  They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.”  Psalm 107:28-30

In a Fog…

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FogThe boys and I went on a long-weekend vacation with my mom and brother this past weekend.  We had a great time at the beach.  Even though it’s not my favorite place to be, I enjoyed myself.

I woke up on Sunday morning before anyone else.  I always check my email and Facebook when I get up.  That morning I had the email I’d been waiting for from my husband.  It was the news of his next orders.  He’s been putting in his “picks” for three months.  The first two months he didn’t get anything.  In this last month of “picking” there was a slot open here in Jacksonville, FL!  Nothing is ever open here.  Certainly, God has heard my cry, opened a slot, and will put him in it!

I’ve been waiting for a month to hear that he got the slot.  I just knew he would!  That is, until I opened that email on Sunday morning.  Not only did he not get that slot, he didn’t get anything else he put in for either.  What does that mean?  Well, now the Navy can put him wherever they want to… or just leave him where he is.  I was in a dazed fog.

This is a blow… to all of us.  I haven’t told my boys yet because I don’t really have any news to tell them.  We are at the mercy of the Navy right now.  Hurry up and wait.

I’m taking this news not as devastating, but as more opportunity for prayer.  More opportunity for God to show up.  More opportunity to show that He is in control.  More opportunity for me to be faithful.

I know that we all have times in our lives that we don’t understand what is going on and have no control.  Maybe it’s an illness, a job, a relationship, you name it.  Those are the times to buckle down… with God.  Those are the times when He shows up BIG.  We may not understand, but He does.  We may not be in control, but He is.  Trust…

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

Twitter: @ashli_perry

Lessons Learned…

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PitchI purchased this apparatus a couple of days ago.  My oldest son wants to pitch.  Dad isn’t here to work with him.  My youngest son isn’t interested in catching for his brother.  That leaves me.  Since I can’t catch or throw very well, I did the next best thing… bought this savvy looking catcher.

The boys and I put it together that night.  It was a project that we did together, but like always I did most of the work.  They were so eager to use it.  They put it in the front yard, turned on the security light, and started throwing at the net (on the other side).  They fielded balls for about an hour in the dark.  I was relishing in the moment of being the great mom.  I’ve done something right!  Lately, I need these moments!

The next day, we moved Buster (the savvy catcher) to the back yard.  I measured the distance needed from home plate to the mound.  Since we don’t have a mound, I got crafty and spray painted a line in the grass.  (I’m still feeling really good at this point.)

My son took his bucket of balls to the backyard and starting throwing (I don’t think he’s mastered “pitching” yet).  I’m happy that one son isn’t begging the other to catch while the other declines.  I’m happy that he’s getting to put in time, outside of practice, to work on his pitching.  I’m happy that I don’t have to get out there and be embarrassed in front of my 10-year-old due to my lack of athleticism.  I’m happy…

That lasted all of about 30 minutes.  He came in declaring that he’s never going to pitch again (a little drama) and that he’s broken the fence.  Surely it’s not that bad… so, I walk outside to look.  He has the velocity, but lacks accuracy.  He busted four slats in the fence and managed to relocate two balls into the neighbor’s yard.

We went to the neighbor, explained, and retrieved the balls.  Then, we went to Home Depot to purchase materials to complete a fence repair.  Today, we repaired the fence… together.  We ripped off what was left of the broken slats, hammered a few nails, and before you know it we were done.  I was pretty proud that we did it!

Fence Repair

Being a military spouse requires a lot.  Sometimes, more than we expect.  The very nature of us (well, most of us) is independence.  It’s how we survive.  But I tell you, I would give anything for my man to be home working with my son on his pitching skills, repairing a fence, and just being here to wrap his arms around me when I feel that I’ve reached the end of my rope.  Other dads are doing with their sons and mine have to make due… with me.  I try my best, but my best doesn’t equal dad.

My son and I have learned a few lessons this weekend:

1. Work on accuracy before velocity;

2. Move the mound back so Buster can be farther away from the fence;

3. We can repair a fence;

4. I love my boys enough to do things I never thought I would;

5. They love me enough to make it worthwhile.

“It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.” Lamentations 3:27

A Little Humility Never Hurt Anyone…

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RobeOne of the advantages of working from home is not having to get dressed first thing in the morning.  My boys ride their bikes to school most days, but I take them on rainy days.  I load up my pajama clad self and proceed to the drop off loop.  No one sees me… except for my boys.  They don’t seem to care, although I haven’t asked.

School is out and we have dove deeply into summer.  The boys went to a week of wrestling camp (where they learn legal moves to take each other down).  Then, we went to Disney ESPN Wide World of Sports for a baseball tournament for a week.  The following week they started baseball camp.  Needless to say, I was a little tired and out of sorts.

The first day of camp, I always walk them in to make sure they are properly registered.  After that, they get dropped off at the gate.  Don’t judge me, I know most of the people there. 🙂  Anyway, I had to give you that background info so you could truly appreciate what is to follow.

Day two of camp… I woke them up about 15 minutes before it was time to go.  Enough time for them to get dressed, down a quick breakfast, and brush their teeth.  I thought to myself… “I’m just dropping them off, I don’t have to get dressed today (or brush my teeth or my hair). Woohoo!  I’ll put on my robe, just in case.”  Just in case what?  Just in case the neighbors are outside?  Just in case the fly in my boxer shorts is open?

We head out to camp.  I get far enough away from home that I can’t turn around and the gas light comes on.  I hadn’t “just in cased” that one!  I let the boys out a the gate.  All the while, running every scenario through my head on how to get gas in my pajamas.  Which station, which side of the road, how to hide between the two doors…

I ended up at the local Kangaroo, probably the busiest gas station on the Westside.  I pulled up to the end pump and faced the truck away from the store.  I thought that was the best way to not be seen.  I got out, pumped my gas, and thought I was about to escape unnoticed.  Should have known better!  An Escalade with gold trim pulls up on the other side of me.  Obviously, someone who put a lot of care into appearance.  The gentleman that exited his vehicle was dressed to the nines.  He even had gold cuff links.

I tried my best to hide behind the pump and not make eye contact.  No such luck.  The man looked at me, smiled, and said “rough night?”  I just laughed and explained I hadn’t planned on making a stop for gas.  I got in the truck, laughing at myself, and promised myself to never leave the house in my pajamas again… without checking the gas gauge first. 😉

“If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” 2 Corinthians 11:30